Guest Blogger: Tom Jones, Lakeside Fund Co-Chair


Lakeside Chautauqua had an incredible summer. I know I echo the sen­timents of all Lakesiders when I say that words cannot express the depth of gratitude we have in our hearts for this place and community.

Last week, I was thinking about Lakeside and found myself asking, “What would the world lose, or what would I lose if Lakeside did not ex­ist?”

In other words, if for some reason, Lakeside had never been established, what would be missing? If we could somehow measure the hole that would be left behind, how big would it be?

One of my favorite holiday movies is “It’s a Wonderful Life.” In this sto­ry, George Bailey feels sorry for himself and begins thinking he would be better off if he never existed.

George is given a chance to see what the world would be like if he had never been born. As George goes from place to place and person to person, he discov­ers that, in spite of all his struggles, he was leaving a legacy. His life had affected the future of everyone and everything around him.

You and I are leaving a legacy, too. The future of everything and every­one around us is somehow impacted by our influence.

Some good questions to ask from time to time are: What kind of legacy are we leaving? If somehow we did not exist, what would the world lose?

Which brings me back to my ear­lier questions, what would the world lose if Lakeside never existed?

There would be no Lakeside sunsets, no sym­phony, no ice cream, no Rhein Center, no God Squad, no Mari­lyn’s, no Sloopy’s, no fish­ing on the Dock, no tennis, no shuffleboard, no Dockside Worship, no meals on Lakeside porches with family, no sailing, no kids riding their bikes for the first time, no Hoover concerts, no Lakeside friends and no family memories.

Lakeside is a special place. I think if Lakeside was not here, the hole would be pretty big.

I do not know about you, but I can­not comprehend what my family’s life would be like without our 30 years of coming to Lakeside. For some of you, it has been gen­erations of your family coming to Lakeside.

We are sitting on a treasure of memories, experienc­es, family and friends we call Lakeside. We love this place.

I would like to ask you to make your personal legacy a part of the Lakeside legacy.

Several years ago my wife, Deb­bie, and I started giving to the Lake­side Fund. Each year, we increase what we give to Lakeside.

We give to Lakeside because we want this place to be so amazing that our children and grandchildren would be crazy not to want to come here. We give to Lakeside out of gratitude. Most of all, we love Lakeside, and we give to the things we love.

I would like to invite you to consider joining the Jones family by becoming a member of the Chautauqua Circle. The Lakeside Chautauqua Founda­tion added this circle in 2012 as a new level of giving to the Lakeside Fund. This level of giving includes gifts to Lakeside from $5,000 to $50,000 or more.

Will you consider becoming a member of the Chautauqua Circle? Will you consider leaving a legacy to Lakeside?

For questions or to give a gift, con­tact the Lakeside Chautauqua Foun­dation at (419) 798-5396 or All gifts are fully tax deductible.