Chautauqua Fund co-chairs host recognition dinner to celebrate volunteer efforts

Jeff Lutz, left, co-chair of the Chautauqua Fund with his wife Cathy Nowosielski, talks to volunteers David and Diana Bower during the Chautauqua Fund leadership reception Lutz and Nowosielski held last Wednesday at their home. PAULA OSPINA / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

Detroit natives and co-chairs of the 2017 Chautauqua Fund Cathy Nowosielski and Jeff Lutz treated Chautauqua Fund volunteers to a Detroit-themed spread at their home last Wednesday evening. The night recognized and celebrated the group’s efforts throughout the past year and featured Detroit coney dogs and delicacies brought straight from the city, such as Sanders hot fudge ice cream sundaes and Better Made chips.

Chautauqua Fund volunteers are Chautauquans and local community members alike who dedicate time to encouraging people to financially support Chautauqua’s annual fund and all that it makes possible — a full range of programs enjoyed each year, as well as scholarships for students at the Schools of Fine & Performing Arts.

“Everyone thinks the gate ticket pays for everything,” said Debbie Currin, a Chautauqua Fund team captain.

In reality, the Institution relies heavily on philanthropy in order to provide the quality of programming and opportunities for which Chautauqua has become known.

“We want to make sure that the quality of programming and the quality of Chautauqua itself will continue for our grandchildren and beyond,” Currin said.

As team captains, Currin and her husband, Bill, have a team of five volunteers that each work on contacting different people and encouraging them to offer philanthropic support to the Institution.

“I think it’s broadening the awareness among all Chautauquans about the need for philanthropy here in the Institution,” said Chautauqua Fund volunteer and team captain Carol McKiernan.

McKiernan has been coming to Chautauqua her entire life and has been volunteering for the Chautauqua Fund for the last eight years.

“Chautauqua helped my parents raise me and it’s my spiritual home,” McKiernan said. “I want to make sure I can do my part to help continue everything Chautauqua has to offer.”

Anyone interested in serving as a volunteer for the Chautauqua Fund is invited to contact Leah Stow, assistant director, at 716-357-6405 or For more information or to make a gift to the 2017 Chautauqua Fund, visit

Tags : Chautauqua FundSchools of Fine & Performing Artsweek nine
Meaghan Wilby

The author Meaghan Wilby

Meaghan Wilby covers the Lincoln Series in Applied Ethics as well as special lectures and programs, and works with the Chautauqua Foundation to cover development activities. Originally from New Zealand, she recently graduated from Allegheny College with a B.A. in English. She played four years of varsity basketball at Allegheny and was an editor for The Campus newspaper for two years. She can be reached at