Chess 4 Charity Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation founded by two kids from Northern Virginia. It started when co-founders Gabrielle Heller & her brother Garrett Heller came up with the idea to combine Garrett’s passion for chess and Gabby’s passion for helping others, by holding a chess tournament to raise money for charity.
The first event was held in 2012 and was such a success that we decided to continue hosting tournaments and create an annual event. We’ve held several events so far attended by hundreds of people each, and we have raised over $65,000 for a wide variety of charities. For each event, we select a charity to benefit. So far, we raised money to support the Ronald McDonald House Charities, The Childhood Brain Tumor Foundation, Red Cross Hurricane Relief, and Torch Relay / Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, among others.
Gabrielle Heller (Gabby Heller)
Gabrielle Heller is a first year student at the University of Virginia, originally from Northern Virginia and a prospective neuroscience major. She has been involved with Chess4Charity since its founding in 2012 and enjoys the time she spends giving back to the community and making it a better place. Besides Chess4Charity, she also loves to do art, play softball, and is involved with Project Sunshine and 180 Degrees Consulting at UVA.
Garrett Heller has been playing in chess tournaments since he was in first grade. He’s played in over 130 tournaments so far and is now rated as a Candidate Master (CM), with a USCF rating of 2128, putting him in the 98th percentile nationally among all chess players, and the 99th percentile for players under 20 years old. He’s ranked #2 in the State of Virginia and #31 in the USA for his age group. He’s finished in the top 10 every year since 2011 in State and National tournaments.