Tag Archives: chautauqua fund

In just five years, Miller plants deep roots

Though Laurie Miller has practiced law for many years at Nixon Peabody LLP in Washington, D.C., it’s not through her career that she met Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

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NOW Generation picks up the reins of Chautauquan forerunners

With NOW Generation members taking greater strides than ever to ensure Chautauqua Institution’s legacy, Week Two’s theme of “The Next Greatest Generation” couldn’t come at a more relevant time.

The NOW Generation is a group of young Chautauquans in their 20s and 30s who are dedicated to preserving the Chautauqua experience. They do so by investing their time, talents and resources in the Institution. The organization attempts to rally the support of other young adults who share a love and respect for the Institution.

Megan Sorenson, assistant director of the Chautauqua Fund, serves as staff liaison for the group, expressing the NOW Generation’s interests to the Chautauqua Foundation and the Institution at large.

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Benjamin Hoste | Staff PhotographerBill Currin, of 5 Vincent, listens to a speaker during the Chautauqua Fund volunteer kickoff breakfast on Saturday, in the Athenaeum Hotel Parlor. Along with his wife, Debbie Currin, he has served as an annual fund volunteer for six years.

With ambitious goal set, a call to action

One hundred Chautauqua Fund volunteers roused themselves out of bed early Saturday morning and flocked to the Athenaeum Hotel Parlor to kick the fundraising season into gear. They were joined by Chautauqua Foundation staff and various friends of Chautauqua Institution.

After catching up, the attendees settled down at tables. Yvonne McCredie, co-chair of the annual fund, welcomed veteran volunteers and newcomers alike.

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Yvonne and Jack McCredie, 2012 co-chairs of the Chautauqua Fund, speak during a recent luncheon at the Athenaeum Hotel recognizing annual fund volunteers. Photo by Adam Birkan.

Fund chairs continue work beyond season to meet goal

Though the season is winding down, Chautauqua Fund Chairs Jack and Yvonne McCredie will not be winding down their efforts to gather support for Chautauqua.

“There’s still a lot of work to do,” Jack said.

The job of the McCredies is a year-round one. From conversations with their team of volunteers, the 2012 Chautauqua Fund has so far been a success. All 110 annual fund volunteers meet several times with their teams and team captains during the season, and the 12 team captains meet four times each summer.

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John Jureller and Mary Giegengack Jureller.
Photo by Michelle Kanaar.

Jurellers’ support for Chautauqua grounded in interfaith programming

Like so many vacationers, John Jureller and Mary Giegengack Jureller expected their trip in the summer of 1992 to result in relaxation, with entertainment and quaint sights and, maybe, if they were lucky enough to stumble upon a decent place, church on Sunday morning. But the Jurellers were going to Chautauqua.

“You can’t often find a vacation place where you can expect to have your spiritual life nourished and expanded. Mostly you go searching about for a church that’s tolerable,” Mary said. “We found the Sunday morning ecumenical service here just wonderfully enriching.”

Since finding Chautauqua much better than “tolerable” — both spiritually and in other regards — the Jurellers of Syracuse, N.Y., have returned for another 20 seasons.

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Sigo and Jean Falk with Amy Pikler. Photo by Lauren Rock.

Through scholarships to arts students, Falks help keep music in the mix

It’s no secret — though the outside world may think classical music is dying, those on the grounds know it is alive and well at Chautauqua.

The Falk family certainly believes so. Each year, the Falk Scholarship Fund supports one of the many students studying the arts at Chautauqua. This year, the scholarship was awarded to Amy Pikler, a violist in the School of Music.

“I had heard about the program through other people who have gone here,” she said. “I was looking for a program that provided merit scholarships for music study, and Chautauqua offered that.”

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Neal and Linda Rhoads
Photo by Michelle Kanaar.

After miserable first Chautauqua experience, Rhoadses mold family legacy

Better Homes and Gardens ran a page about Chautauqua Institution in 1975 under the title of “Great family vacations.” The page happened to catch Linda Rhoads’ eye, and she and her husband, Neal, decided to venture from Hershey, Pa., to New York.

But their first visit to Chautauqua was less than idyllic.

“I don’t know why we ever came back, because we lived in the top of a house — it was the third floor, and there was no porch,” Linda said. “The floors were all at different angles, and we had to step over a toilet to get into the bedroom.”

Despite the conditions, something about the Institution resonated with Neal and Linda and their two daughters.

“We’ve come every year since,” Linda said.

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The book, titled “We Thank You,” presented to Chautauqua Reorganization Corporation leader Sam Hazlett in appreciation of his work to ensure Chautauqua’s future.

For 75 years, a Foundation of support for Chautauqua

The Chautauqua Foundation celebrates 75 years this season with a nod to the past. This year, the foundation honors those leaders who helped lift Chautauqua to prosperity by establishing a charitable organization to support the Institution.

In 1933, the nation was entrenched in the bitter effects of the Great Depression. The previous year saw the highest level of unemployment in United States history: 22 percent. Chautauqua Institution, 60 years old but already rich in history, faced foreclosure.

In what was perhaps Chautauqua’s first case statement, according to former Institution President Dan Bratton in a memo to senior staff in 1993, former President Dr. Arthur Bestor is quoted as saying, “An institution of this character cannot stand still; it must either go forward or it will go backward.”

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