Margie and Dick Buxbaum of Shaker Heights, Ohio, grew curious when they noticed their neighbors’ tendency to leave for most of the summer. How, they wondered, could Ben and Edith Adler go somewhere for the whole summer?
When they learned that Chautauqua was the Adlers’ destination, Margie and Dick decided to make the trip themselves.
They’ve been returning for two decades now.
It began with weekends, then the occasional weeklong stay. In 1992, the Buxbaums decided it was the right time to purchase property on the grounds.
“It’s a great place to be with my family,” said Margie, a retired parent consultant who specialized in helping parents of children with disabilities find resources in their community.
The Buxbaums’ children, Peter and Sarah, regularly make trips from Ohio and Mississippi with their spouses and children to spend time together as a family in Chautauqua.
Now living in Tennessee, the Buxbaums said they also find Chautauqua to be a wonderful place to connect with friends from Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Buffalo, among other places.
“It’s a place that provides good memories,” said Dick, who is also enjoying a “blissful” retirement from years as a hospital administrator.
Chautauqua, he said, is a place where he can spend time with friends, enjoy the lake and the surrounding environment, and be stimulated by lectures and musical performances.
The Bird, Tree & Garden Club has provided Margie with years of pleasure. She has served in several capacities with the club — the last two years as chair — and has even taken her passion for nature back to Tennessee where she has written a local nature column called “Life on the Wild Side.”
“This place is very important to me,” Margie said. “I love that Chautauqua has maintained the ravines, and made efforts to provide shade — it keeps the outdoor venues cool and if we lose the tree canopy we will lose the ability to be outside all summer.”
Other activities that fill the Buxbaums’ summer schedule are lectures, the Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle and music; they can often be found enjoying the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, chamber music concerts and the Music School Festival Orchestra. Dick has a particular interest in the opportunities for amateur musicians like himself. After 45 years away from the instrument, Dick picked up the clarinet again in 2003. Thanks to Joe Prezio’s encouragement, he has reveled in being a member of the Dixie Lakesiders, the Community Band, and informal chamber groups.
For Margie and Dick, Chautauqua is about more than just programming, though.
“Chautauqua is unique and not duplicated any place else in the country,” Dick said.
“There are a lot of things going on at Chautauqua that have nothing to do with what Chautauqua Institution has planned that day,” Margie said. “I just like to walk around and see what’s happening.”
It is everything about Chautauqua that makes this a special place for the Buxbaums, so much so that they have included Chautauqua in their will.
“We are not particularly in a place to be Bestor Society members every year, and this is a way for us to do something for the future of Chautauqua,” Margie said.
“We have had so many wonderful experiences and we want to contribute and, in a way, pay back for those good times,” Dick said.
By planning a gift through their will for Chautauqua, the Buxbaums have become members of the Eleanor B. Daugherty Society. The Daugherty Society recognizes those individuals who have included Chautauqua in their estate plans through a will, trust, or other planned gift.
As members of the Daugherty Society, the Buxbaums said they enjoyed several of the benefits associated with membership in the group, especially the annual luncheon, with the 10:45 a.m. lecturer as special guest and the Scholar-in-Residence program.
If you are considering including Chautauqua in your will or other estate plans, please contact Karen Blozie at 716-357-6244 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.