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Chess and Community Founder 'Life' LaRoche Selected Atlanta Braves 'Community Hero'

The founder of Athens nonprofit Lemuel Life LaRoche was recognized by the Atlanta Braves as one of five “community heroes.”

“I was surprised, I was asked to come to Clarke Central just to do some presentation for some new knights and queens,’ LaRoche said. “Then the Atlanta Braves came in and they just surprised me. They recognized me as a community hero. I was nominated by a few people in this community. It was an awesome day.”

In addition to a$5,000 check, LaRoche was able to take 50 friends and family to Wednesday night’s Braves game.

“I was on the field with some of the players and they gave me a jersey with LaRoche on the back of it. It was just a humbling experience.”

Those making the trip to Athens include announcer Chip Caray, former braves, and team mascot Blooper. LaRoche says his organization reaches over 200 kids a year.

“It shows that the work we’re doing in Athens can actually be a model for how we can engage in other places and other cities. When I’m in Houston, and other places, I’m going to Gary, Indiana tomorrow to talk about some of the work we’re doing here. People are really moved and inspired and are looking for…one, they’re looking to keep me there. Two, looking for ways to duplicate what it is that we are doing in our city.”

For more information or to donate visit chessandcommunity.org.

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