Chess Kids Against COVID-19
Anyone Can Help Make a Difference – Especially Kids!
During a global pandemic, it can be very difficult to find good news. Dr. Sheila Nadiminti and her family decided to change that. Over dinner one night, Dr. Nadiminti and her husband, Dr. Hari Nadiminti, who is on the board of Summit Medical Group Foundation, were brainstorming ideas with their three children about what they could do to help people being impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Ajay (a second grader) and Priya (a first grader) had an idea – what about a chess tournament? From there, the wheels were in motion.
The family, realizing that most extracurricular activities have been cancelled for the foreseeable future, decided to create an online chess tournament to raise money for a charitable cause. “Both kids love chess and have been playing it for the past two years,” explained Dr. Nadiminti. “Chess is one activity that they could still do online amid other activities getting cancelled.” They contacted the children’s chess teacher, Seun Bisiriyu, from Do Re Mi School of Arts and Music in Livingston, who loved the idea.
The online chess tournament will unfold on April 19, where children in kindergarten through sixth grade can register to play at $20/child. They’ve been working with principals at nearby public and private schools to get the word out to students. Since it’s an online tournament, it’s not limited by numbers. The family is hoping participation spreads far and wide.
“We decided to donate the money to the Summit Medical Group Foundation,” said Dr. Nadiminti, whose family is treated at Summit Medical Group and volunteers frequently with the Foundation. “It’s a cause that we really believe in. Over the past few years, we’ve seen the impact the Foundation has had on the community with our own eyes,” she shared. Ajay and Priya are hoping the money will be useful to buy protective equipment for those working to fight COVID-19. “Right now, healthcare workers are at the forefront of fighting this pandemic,” explained Dr. Nadiminti. “The whole staff – nurses, janitors, urgent care workers, EMS, doctors – they are true heroes risking their own lives to help others every day. Given the situation, we felt this was a natural cause to donate to.”
The top three winners of the tournament will receive a trophy (via mail). But even beyond the trophy, all of the kids participating are winners. Dr. Nadiminti reminded us of a quote from Mahātmā Gandhi that her family holds dear, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” All of these children are actively working together to make a positive change. And that is something we can all be proud about, regardless of the evolving landscape we find ourselves in each day.