The Men’s Bible Study Group, who meets every Tuesday during the summer, collectively has an interest of putting their faith into action.
“This interest we had collided with some things we learned about the area,” said Bob Brymer and Randy Donithan, members of the Men’s Bible Study Group. “Forty-eight percent of students in Ottawa County are on a free or reduced lunch plan, which to us said that there are great opportunities here to serve.”
Brymer and Donithan have worked with Ottawa County United Way for three years to sponsor an annual TNT Day in Lakeside.
Dan Moulton first heard about TNT Day back in 2017 and has been supporting the event ever since. He grew up on the Marblehead Peninsula and purchased his first Lakeside Season Pass when he was old enough to drive.
“I consider Lakeside to be a big contributor in my own development, and I wanted to give back and support the next generation,” said Moulton.
He’s now an active member in the Lakeside community and helps support the event with a financial gift to assist with TNT Day becoming an annual event. This year, the Lakeside Men’s Bible Study Group has collectively contributed the funds, with support from Lakeside Chautauqua, needed to underwrite this special day.
“I love Lakeside and the people I’ve met here,” said Moulton. “I want kids to have that same positive experience, especially the ones who wouldn’t get this experience otherwise. If they’re out in a rural area, or mom and dad are strapped for time or money, whatever the situation may be, it’s just nice to have a new experience and see a different part of where you live.”
On Aug. 8, Lakeside will host nearly 60 pairs of middle schoolers and their mentors, which are already paired through the TNT program, and provide them with exposure to the four Chautauqua pillars-religion, education, cultural arts and recreation.
The kids and mentors will be exposed to the beach area, shuffleboard, miniature golf, arts & crafts, basketball, volleyball and more. John and Bonnie Willkie, will entertain the students with games and activities, shortly after, a pizza lunch will be served on the Hotel Lakeside lawn. The group will then be escorted to Hoover Auditorium for a look around the historic building and to view the 2 p.m. Lakeside Symphony Orchestra Youth Concert.
The youth participants will receive a T-shirt, Lakeside beach towel and water bottle as remembrances from their TNT Day. Lakeside will also provide the mentors with a pair of Daily Chautauqua Passes so they can return with their mentees another time this summer.
“At a previous TNT Day, a mentor mentioned that his mentee had never even seen the lake,” said Moulton. “To some kids, this is foreign, but having support from the entire county helps bring the community together. It helps people see Lakeside not as a mystery but as something positive. I think what the kids are looking forward to the most is just spending time with their mentors and having fun in Lakeside.”
The Men’s Bible Study Group, which was started by Jim Kettlewell seven years ago and is led by Glen Becker today, has taken the lead on organizing this project and other community outreach initiatives with the support of the Lakeside Chautauqua staff.
“If we can play a role in a brighter future for just one kid, it’s got to be worth it,” said Brymer.
To help or volunteer during this year’s TNT Day, contact Randy Donithan at firstname.lastname@example.org.