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Legacy for Fallen Hometown Hero

$7,525 of $7,500 goal

Raised by 54 people in 11 months
The media frenzy has died, but the memory of our fallen hero will be etched in concrete chess tables forever.

On October 4, 2017, four Special Forces soldiers patrolling in Niger, West Africa, were ambushed by enemy insurgents, killing Staff Sgt. Bryan Black, a 35-year-old Puyallup son.  Fellow soldiers Staff Sgt. Jeremiah Johnson, Staff Sgt. Dustin Wright and Sgt. LaDavid Johnson also died.

Bryan Black graduated from Puyallup High School  in 2000 and enlisted in the Army nine years later as part of the elite Green Beret unit, where he served as a medic.  During his military service, he was awarded many medals and distinctions.  Prior to enlisting, he also won many awards as a beloved hometown chess champion.

From a very young age, Bryan was obsessed with chess.  Incredibly strong-willed and competitive, he spent an entire summer after 4th grade studying and learning it like a master.  According to his good friend Phil Watson, "Bryan was a great friend and one of the most talented players I’ve ever met.  His playing style matched his personality—methodical, novel, dedicated and fun-loving."

A prolific player, Bryan won many notable tournaments, scoring results against some of the best players in the world (in chess lingo, that means he beat master-level players and future Grandmasters).  He dominated scholastic chess in Washington state, where he tied for 2nd in the nation when he was in 6th grade and in high school.  He won the state championship trophy for Puyallup High School in 1999 and finished 7th in the national team tournament.  He handily won the 2000 Washington Junior Open with a perfect score.

To honor Bryan's military service and pay tribute to his chess legacy,  the Puyallup community is trying to raise $7,500 to buy two outdoor chess tables.  Each double concrete table with built-in metal benches costs about $3,610.  The City of Puyallup has agreed to build a permanent monument with these chess tables in Pioneer Park across from City Hall.  This tribute would mean a great deal to his Gold Star family (parents, surviving wife, and two young boys).  Bryan's memory would forever be etched in stone so that future  generations of Puyallup's families and children can learn to play the game he loved so much.

The talent he had was only eclipsed by his larger-than-life personality.  On October 4, 2017, we lost one of the nation’s best.  We would be so grateful if you can help us reach our goal by March 1, 2018.  We intend to have the project completed before summer arrives in the beautiful NW.  Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your generosity.

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We hope everyone had a safe and fun-filled 4th! This is a gentle reminder to attend the dedication ceremony tomorrow. More details about the event (July 5th) at 6 pm can be found here:
http://www.cityofpuyallup.org/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=446

There will be other tables and chess boards set up for people to play.

Please join us for chess and music in the park immediately after the dedication of the new permanent chess tables. The event is open to the public.
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July 5th is fast approaching! Just a few days until the unveiling of the Bryan Black chess table memorial that you helped to build in his honor. To read more about this dedication, click on this link or copy and paste to your browser: http://www.cityofpuyallup.org/civicalerts.aspx?AID=446
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We donated $15,000 to the City of Puyallup for Bryan Black's chess memorial. Thanks to all those who supported this great cause. We will have the chess table dedication on Thursday, July 5th at 6:00 p.m. in Pioneer Park prior to a concert in the Park. The Air Force National Guard Band is performing that night so it would be the perfect night for the event. Hope to see you there!
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WOW!!! Not only did we meet our goal in just 2 weeks, Erik Anderson of America's Foundation for Chess (whose dad is from Puyallup), matched the GoFundMe w/ an additional $7,500.

Councilman Tom Swanson spoke to Bryan’s mom Karen about the $15,000 raised so far. They are looking at ways to use the extra funds to share Bryan's love of chess with local children. We are so thankful!
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$7,525 of $7,500 goal

Raised by 54 people in 11 months
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CW
$25
Christine Wick
9 months ago
LH
$2,785
Lloyd Hamilton
10 months ago
GA
$100
Glenn and Lynn Amy
10 months ago
$100
Anonymous
10 months ago
MD
$75
Maureen Dightman
10 months ago
RB
$25
Robert Breeden
10 months ago
$100
Tammy Reeve
10 months ago
JM
$20
Jason Martin
10 months ago
RH
$25
Richard Hundahl
10 months ago
$50
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