Canopy Needed

Dear Sir/Madam:

Let me first introduce myself. My name is Orlando Cachuela. I am one of the chess club moderators and coach/instructor at the Gloucester County Library System Mullica Hill branch.

Last year, the Gino Giumarello Chess Park within the Ella Harris Park in Mullica Hill was inaugurated and dedicated in honor of Gino Giumarello, one of the Clearview High School chess team members that I coached at the library chess club. I was not even aware that he passed away in a car crash a few years back. It was only when Harrison Township opened the chess park when I found out about it.

Just a week ago, during the Harrison Twp. Day celebrations, a few of my friends and I gathered at that park to teach people who were interested in playing chess. For those who already know how to play the game, we just let them play for their enjoyment.

We set up all five tables with game pieces that we borrowed from the library just for that event.  

Between the hours of 4 p.m. and 6 p.m., people just walked by and seemed uninterested. But after 6 p.m., all five chess tables were in use until we decided to call it a night at 8 p.m. This kind of response got me thinking.

And then I realized and got very disappointed that there is something missing about that chess park! Many times during the spring, my chess playing gang planned to meet and play in that park but our plans got canceled all the time due to rain. And now that the summer season is coming, the heat of the sun heats up those stone chess tables and the bright sun would require us to wear sunglasses while playing.

So, what is missing in that park? I believe, it would be a great idea to build a permanent canopy over it to protect the people and the chess tables and equipment from harsh weather conditions.  I do not know if Harrison Township is willing to provide a budget for building such a canopy but maybe with enough publicity, some generous donor might offer to finance its construction.

Just last Saturday, I went there at 6 p.m. to check out the playing conditions. The sun was still too bright (I thought I needed sunglasses to play there), so next time, I thought I should come later at around 7 p.m. It is a shame that the chess park will be useful only for a few hours due to weather conditions.

No wonder people have not been using that park. The last thing I want to see is that people just walk by the park and ignore it. I do not want that for Gino! Gino was passionate about playing chess.

For now, my chess playing gang will have to wait till 7 p.m. to play there. What I want for Gino is for that park to be used, and I believe it will be used more often if it had a canopy over it.

Orlando Cachuela

Logan Twp.

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