Staff Blogger: Jessica Kidd, Advancement Manager


photo 2The Lakeside Chautauqua mission is “to enrich the quality of life for all people, to foster traditional Christian values and nurture relationships through opportunities for renewal and growth…spiritually, intellectually, culturally and physically…while preserving Lakeside’s heritage.”

When thinking about all of the wonderful opportunities this mission provides, I can’t help but reflect on what it takes to bring the mission alive.

A few qualities that are evident in the Lakeside Chautauqua community are passion and genuine care for this special place.

Volunteers offer their time, knowledge and support, not only to the guests attending Lakeside events, but as a way to connect with a place they cherish and to renew their inner being.

Without the generosity of volunteers, the mission would not be able to come alive in the dimensions that it does today. We sincerely appreciate all of the hard work and dedication from each and every one of our Lakeside volunteers.

One volunteer, in particular, has exhibited the true meaning of supporting an organization that is near and dear. In honor of National Volunteer Week, I sat down with Beth Nurnberger to talk about her experience volunteering at Lakeside.

Beth vividly remembers her first Lakeside experience, which was in the fall of 1986. She,along with her husband, Mark, and their two young children at the time were returning from a less than ideal family trip when they drove through the gates of their soon-to-be second home.

The children immediately spotted the Central Park playground, and before long, the family had forgotten about the troubles from the night before.

The Nurnbergers soon discovered the peace and tranquility of the Chautauqua community that renewed their spirit.

Once it was time to return to work and school life, Beth knew it wouldn’t be long before the family would return to Lakeside.

The Nurnbergers’ summers initially involved making new friends, their daughters purchasing penny candy all on their own and experiencing a step-back-in-time away from the stressors of daily life. Before long, Lakeside truly became a family tradition.

With a deep love for Lakeside, it was evident why Beth’s dear friends asked her to volunteer with various projects.

Her first project was painting the boards for the schoolhouse windows. Not only was she connecting with Lakeside on a deeper level, she was also making deeper connections with her family that was volunteering right alongside her. Beth encouraged generosity in her family and made it seamlessly part of their summer vacations.

The schoolhouse board painting was just the beginning of her volunteer journey. Next, it was caring for numerous gardens within Lakeside with Mark and adding the tender, loving care that was needed.

She then began volunteering at various events, including Spring Cleanup Day, Lakeside Plant Sale, Plein Air Art Festival, Light Up Lakeside and assisting with children’s crafts with her daughter, Meg, at the Lakeside-Marblehead Lighthouse Festival.

Recently, I have been blessed with the opportunity to work with Beth on a regular basis through her volunteer work with the Advancement & Communications Department. She understands the meaning of giving back to a place you cherish, and it is truly inspiring.

She has been assisting the department by writing heartfelt thank you cards for the generous support given to the Annual Fund, as well as being a guest blogger for The Front Porch blog. She is always eager to help and find new ways to stay connected with our community, even from afar.

In the future, Beth would like to try something new and assist at the Rhein Center.

Lakeside Chautauqua graciously thanks all of its volunteers for their time and generous support. It is because of you that Lakeside is the beautiful and thriving place it is today.

For more information on ways to get involved within the Lakeside community, visit the Volunteer page of the website.

What’s your favorite event to volunteer with? What’s your favorite thing about being a Lakeside volunteer? Tell us in the comments below.