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Chess for Life volunteers gather at Siteman Cancer Center

[imagefield_assist|fid=1733|preset=frontpage_200x200|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=200|height=200]SAINT LOUIS -- Chess For Life, a chess-playing program designed to brighten the lives of cancer patients and caregivers during treatment, celebrated its volunteer kickoff with its first Open Play Day for patients, caregivers and visitors.

Volunteers and staff from the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis manned seven chess boards in the Siteman Cancer Center’s seventh-floor reception area. Patients in treatment were also invited to play with a volunteer who then was able to bring the game to them in their treatment area.

“I was playing with someone who wasn’t a patient but brought someone for treatment,” said Gwen Fotinos, who recognized how caretakers and friends of patients can benefit from and enjoy the Chess for Life program.

Another Chess For Life volunteer, Charles Cooper, noted how the vibes in the room changed after the games began. “I could feel the turnaround in the room when we first got there to when we left – people were excited,” he said.

Chess for Life’s goal is to bring pleasure and companionship through the common interest of chess. For most of today’s Chess for Life players, it marked their first visit and experience playing chess at Siteman Cancer Center.

“I’m going home feeling so grateful I was able to do this,” said volunteer Steve Rush.

For more information on how to volunteer for Chess for Life, call Lauren Stewart at 314-646-1999.