GCA President Rejects Scholarship Offer

Kevin Schmuggerow is the new owner of the North Georgia Chess Center. I have yet to meet him because his Chess Center is really north of the metro area. He is a reader of this blog. Yesterday an email was received from Mr. Schmuggerow. I believe it should be shared with the Georgia chess community. Because Kevin benefited from a chess scholarship in Illinois years ago he had the idea to fund a scholarship here. He sent his idea to Katie Hartley, a member of the GCA board.
On Thu, Sep 12, 2013 at 7:48 PM, Kevin Schmuggerow wrote:
“Katie,

I hope all is going well with Scholastic Chess.

I was thinking ways to fund a scholarship program. I’m kicking around the idea of raising my entry fees by $1.00 to be set aside for scholarships. If I have 150 players a month, that would raise $1,800 a year.
Your feedback is appreciated!”

Sincerely,

Kevin Schmuggerow
North Georgia Chess Center
2450 Atlanta Highway, Suite 201
Cumming GA, 30040
(770) 844-9204”

This was the reply from Katie Hartley:

“On Fri, Sep 13, 2013 at 2:05 PM, Katie Hartley wrote:
It is a nice idea and I’m copying Fun on this so he can add it to the board agenda when next we meet. the GCA has also talked about seeking out sponsors for something like this. i think at the very least we could put on the website a place to make donations specifically for scholastic scholarships.

Katie”

Katie did copy Fun Fong, the President of the GCA board and this was his response:

From: Fun Fong [mailto:fun.fong.jr@gmail.com]
Sent: Friday, September 13, 2013 2:43 PM
To: Katie Hartley
Cc: Kevin Schmuggerow
Subject: Re: Scholastic Chess

“Katie and Kevin,

It’s an OK idea, but the real thing to do is to FIND SPONSORS!!!! That’s how we get real money for scholarships. This stuff you’re getting is chicken feed and we’re harvesting off (taxing) our own audience to do this. I’m not crazy about this idea. GCA needs to find 2 people to go to UPS, FedEx, Coke, Home Depot, Chick-fil-A, etc and make a polished presentation of what we would do scholarship wise with $10K or 20K. There are a TON of big companies that could potentially help and it really only takes ONE.

Fun”

Chicken feed? This must have come as a cold slap in the face to Kevin. I was shocked upon reading this email. Mr. Schmuggerow magnanimously offered a plan to fund a scholarship through the GCA and was not only rebuffed, but ridiculed! The next email is from a man who can be only be considered a true gentleman:

On Fri, Sep 13, 2013 at 4:01 PM, Kevin Schmuggerow wrote:

“Fun,

I apologize.

I know that my $1,800 is not close to $10,000 or $20,000, it was just meant as a gesture to help.”

Kevin Schmuggerow
North Georgia Chess Center
2450 Atlanta Highway, Suite 201
Cumming GA, 30040
(770) 844-9204”

How does the President of the Georgia Chess Association respond to such magnanimity?

From: Fun Fong [mailto:fun.fong.jr@gmail.com]
Sent: Friday, September 13, 2013 4:21 PM
To: Kevin Schmuggerow
Cc: Katie Hartley
Subject: Re: Scholastic Chess

“Kevin,
You sentiments are good and well-intended. Katie knows me better, and knows that I am both ambitious and impatient in our efforts. I just think that our efforts really need to be directed towards some corporate funding. After a Communications Director, the GCA should find two people who can start looking for funding. We also need to start up our long-range planning group to figure out how to use a windfall like that.
My sense is that adult chess players in our current demographic are some of the biggest cheapskates in the world! I hope to change that demographic over time. Getting any money from them, is problematic. Scholastics is better, but I just think we should be looking towards other sources of funding. That’s really the only way that progress in the state will become palpably different.”
Best wishes,
Fun”

Best wishes, indeed. I can only say these emails provide a startling glimpse into the mind of the President of the GCA, Fun Fong. Make of them what you will.

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2 thoughts on “GCA President Rejects Scholarship Offer

  1. Dr. Brian McCarthy says:

    Chess players are cheap?? What a shock!!! Maybe the sun will rise tomorrow! The inventor of paypal is a billionaire chess master who played many times in Atlanta, Peter Thiel. After beating him a few times on the ICC he would not even return my congrats for his success. We had another chess master win a few millions in the world series of poker Ylon Schwartz and neither have given one penny to chess. After the legacy of Bobby Fischers online rants and Kasparov’s accusations (justified?) against IBM, there are few if any corporations who want anything to do with chess. If someone is not prepared to deal with the realities of chess, they should let someone who understands reality take over. 1800 is a lot ,more than we have now. These same cheapskate arguments came up when all players were forced to contribute to the master’s health fund but it has been a success that has helped people in need.

  2. […] over time. Getting any money from them, is problematic. Scholastics is better…” (https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2013/10/17/gca-president-rejects-scholarship-offer/). Mr. Fong never elaborated or explained the remark, leaving the Georgia chess community wondering […]

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