Elise M. Besthoff Charitable Foundation Underwrites Club Plus Season


After last summer’s successful pilot year, the Chautauqua Boys’ and Girls’ Club Plus program has returned for another season.

Complementing the traditional Club experience in morning sessions, Club Plus gives children the opportunity to experience interdisciplinary curriculum — in the arts and sciences to inspire academic curiosity — during the afternoon. The program’s themes this year range from National Geographic GeoChallenge Camp to filmmaking and comedy writing.

The Elise M. Besthoff Charitable Foundation is underwriting the full seven weeks of Club Plus in 2019. Last year, the foundation sponsored an initiative at Chautauqua for the first time, providing underwriting support for the final week of the 2018 Club Plus curriculum. The Foundation was pleased with the successful outcome and has increased its investment.

“The Elise M. Besthoff Charitable foundation invests in charitable grants that we think that Mrs. Besthoff would’ve supported,” said Christina Worley, president of the Besthoff Foundation and longtime Chautauquan. “All the board members knew her well, and we’ve sponsored children’s schools and events in the past.”

Worley said the Besthoff Foundation honors the late Elise M. Besthoff by supporting programs  she would’ve liked, and that sponsoring Club Plus would be the perfect way to support Chautauqua this year.

“We love supporting children because that was one of her passions,” Worley said. “So we thought Club Plus would be an interesting way to sponsor this year at Chautauqua and see … what the outcome was to see if the program was successful.”

Due to the Institution’s extensive offerings in the arts, education and more, Worley said she trusts that Institution staff will make good decisions around choosing which topics and curriculum are offered at Club Plus through partnerships with local educators and other experts who serve as instructors.

“The Institution is a first-class organization,” Worley said. She said the Besthoff Foundation is happy to have invested in the program’s expansion in 2019 and is looking forward to Club Plus’ success this season.

“We’ve invested well and we’ve had some fabulous projects that have had good success,” Worley said. “We’re really into seeing the long- term benefits of charitable giving and we’re interested in working with the Institution and this program to see where they can take it.”

For more information on underwriting opportunities, contact Megan Sorenson, director of community engagement, at 716-357-6243 or

Tags : Besthoff FoundationChautauqua Boys’ and Girls’ Club PlusClub PlusCommunityElise M. Besthoff Charitable FoundationNational Geographic GeoChallenge Campyouth

The author Marianna Moore

Marianna Moore is a rising senior at the University of Missouri. She is studying journalism with a concentration in strategic communication. She interns as a writer for the university’s Office of Student Affairs and previously interned as a social media manager with Mizzou International Experience. In her free time, Marianna likes to volunteer at the Central Missouri Humane Society and enjoys writing poetry.