Chautauqua Institution covers 750 acres, and traversing the grounds from its most northern to most southern points can be quite a hike. But last Sunday, members of the Bestor Society and various Chautauqua Foundation and Institution leaders made the trek to the south side of the grounds for the annual president’s address.
As the 2014 season progresses, the Chautauqua Foundation has been hard at work to ensure the Institution’s future on behalf of the entire Chautauqua community.
Doug Conroe, director of operations, accompanied by John Shedd, director of facilities and administrator of architectural and land use regulations, took over the Hultquist Center porch Wednesday morning to lead almost 30 community members in a discussion of “Lake and Storm Water Management.”
For Jack and Yvonne McCredie, volunteering for the Chautauqua Fund is a duty and a pleasure.
“Successful nonprofits are dominated by committed volunteers,” said Geof Follansbee, CEO of the Chautauqua Foundation, on Aug. 15 at the annual Volunteer Recognition Reception honoring both Chautauqua Fund and planned giving volunteers.
In the 1960s, children swimming in Chautauqua Lake really had only one thing to complain about: the muddy bottom. Today, due to nutrient runoff and other environmental concerns, children are sometimes prohibited from swimming in the lake at all.
When Jack and Yvonne McCredie left Sunday morning worship at the Amphitheater on July 7, they were ambushed by their daughter and grandchildren, 4-year-old Leland and 7-year-old Lucy. So as they took their seats under the red awning of the Brick Walk Cafe, their furry Portuguese water dog, Bingo, in tow, they smiled and chatted about their grandchildren.
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.
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.
Chautauqua Fund Chairs Jack and Yvonne McCredie wish that all Chautauquans were aware of the fallacy of three of the Institution’s greatest myths. And no, they are not referring to Thomas Edison, former presidents of the United States or the size of the bat population.
The myths that the McCredies refer to seem far more credible but are equally false: that the sale of gate tickets covers all of Chautauqua’s operational costs, that only the largest gifts impact the Foundation and that only the oldest generation is responsible for the financial future of the Institution.
In fact, the McCredies disagree adamantly with the three statements and are on a mission this summer to correct the misconceptions. As annual fund chairs, they prepare more than 100 volunteers for dispelling the myths as they promote the fund on the grounds.