Staff Blogger: Sarah Milheim, Advancement & Communications Coordinator


Week_1_Heironimus007_EditedAs fall settles in and Lakeside Chautauqua prepares for the events during the “off-season,” Lakeside recognizes the value in volunteers and how essential they are to the Chautauqua experience.

Pat Castanaras, Les Cunningham and Carolyn Beears are just three of the many volunteers that make this experience worthwhile for so many guests and Lakesiders.

When asked why the three siblings recognize the importance of volunteering, Castanaras said, “The Cunningham family is working on its fifth generation of young people who come to Lakeside to renew their spirit, their religion, to rejuvenate for their future and believe in it. I want to and need to make sure that it [Lakeside] is here for them to experience the same or similar way I did.”

Castanaras shared that some of her motivation comes from wanting to help her “Lakeside family” who volunteers their time and talents to continue all of the wonderful events that draw many Lakesiders back.

Beears added that, “Volunteers play an important part in offering visitors opportunities for enriching their quality of life and growing spiritually, intellectually, culturally and physically.”

Several events held in Lakeside each year do just that, including Spring Cleanup Day, the 5K Raccoon Run and Hoover Community Worship Services, and the numerous volunteers who lend a hand at these events help make them successes.

Castanaras continued to say, “Lakeside could not survive a single season without the folks who volunteer here or work here.”

Beears shared to this point, “It is important to support Lakeside so that it will be able to continue providing the great variety of wholesome, safe and enriching experiences that I am so happy to recount.”

Beears’ time, energy and skills are offered at the Lakeside-Marblehead Lighthouse Festival, preparing and organizing mailings and encouraging fellowship among guests and the community.

She wants to give back to make sure that Lakeside will continue to be a “happy place” for the future.

Castanaras donates her time volunteering during Spring Cleanup Day, the Lakeside-Marblehead Lighthouse Festival and the Midwest Birding Symposium.

She has also given her time to help with Rhein Center registration, the Lakeside Annual Plant Sale and driving the golf cart shuttle.

Cunningham described his motivation as, “I love Lakeside.”

He volunteers his time during the Chautauqua summer season at church, Hoover Auditorium, Central Park and miniature golf.

During the off-season he also offers his skills during Spring Cleanup Day and stamping the kids’ hands during the Lakeside-Marblehead Lighthouse Festival.

Their family recognizes the connection between volunteering and the Lakeside Chautauqua mission.

Castanaras said, “For me it’s all part of the nurturing of the mind, body and spirit.”

Not only do the siblings enjoy giving of themselves to Lakeside, but they also enjoy all that Lakeside provides to them in return.

The siblings cherish their Tuesday tradition of dinner at The Patio Restaurant, a game of shuffleboard followed by ice cream at Coffee & Cream.

Beears commented, “We have family in both Cleveland and Columbus. Lakeside seems to be the place where we get together the most.”

Giving of time or treasure impacts Lakeside Chautauqua greatly, and Beears added, “For Lakeside to continue, we must just keep doin’ it.”