Kurt Geisheimer was first introduced to Lakeside by his deceased wife, Gloria. Gloria was a longtime Lakesider who came yearly with her church youth group.
The couple would bring their children when they were in grade school to picnic and enjoy all that Lakeside had to offer.
In 2005, Kurt and Gloria purchased a summer home in Lakeside when they tired of the pace of traditional vacations. After a few years, they moved up for the entire summer.
When Gloria passed away in 2009, Kurt moved to Lakeside year-round so he could reflect on the future and be near his friends in Lakeside.
Kurt introduced Debby, his current wife, to the Chautauqua community, and she immediately fell in love with Lakeside. They were married in their backyard in 2011.
As their Lakeside lifestyle continued to grow, the Geisheimers’ son, Jon, also purchased a cottage in 2012 for his own family, who spent four weeks in Lakeside last summer.
“I don’t know how we could all get together in the summers without our Lakeside home,” shared Kurt. “It’s a gathering place for family and friends too. You find so many cool connections when you reach out to the people around you. There is a network of people surrounding you that are a big part of your life.”
Kurt serves on the Lakeside Chautauqua Foundation Board of Directors and shares his skills and background in finance and strategic planning.
“We need to bridge the gap between our historic traditions and contemporary family life, securing the future by maintaining our mission and vision while meeting the needs of today’s families,” said Geisheimer.
One of Lakeside Chautauqua’s strategic goals is addressing the emerging 21st century guest expectations.
By supporting Lakeside, each gift sustains Lakeside and all of the blended interests that the community has to offer each generation.
Kurt and Debby have taken time to plan a gift to the Lakeside Endowment by placing a firm legacy in their wills.
Many Lakesiders, like Kurt, have already made it a priority to protect the Chautauqua experience by planning a deferred endowment gift.
“We want to help keep Lakeside vibrant and relevant, and to leave Lakeside better off when we pass on than it was when we inherited it,” Geisheimer said. “The Lakeside Fund is a great start, but we can’t go where we need to with only annual fund giving for operating expenses.”
Planning a gift might include pledging an endowment gift or naming Lakeside as a beneficiary in an estate, IRA or life insurance policy.
Gifts to the Lakeside Endowment not only last, but they increase in size. Lakeside only spends 4% of the interest the endowment earns each year, which leaves the principal intact and builds the fund.
Lakeside must grow endowment funds in order to achieve its strategic goals and to protect the Chautauqua experience for many more generations.
Each year, a percentage of the Lakeside Endowment is drawn on to support the Chautauqua program and many historic buildings.
Approximately $100,000 is dispersed from the endowment to support the signature Chautauqua program and the Lakeside experience each fiscal year.
Lakesiders are invited to join The Endowment for Life Initiative by planning a gift for the future of Lakeside.
“Lakeside is a simpler way to enjoy time with family. We must maintain the history and serenity, while raising the bar on our facilities,” Kurt added.