By Jim Edwards

My wife and I live on a typical block in Lakeside. Our neighbors include or have included a physician, a noted criminal defense attorney, a funeral director and a corporate engineering executive. A block beyond included the man who carried the “nuclear football” with the launch codes for the President of the United States, folks who were good friends with Dave Thomas of Wendy’s fame, and a physician who developed the heart catheterization procedure that has saved countless lives around the world. Chances are that your block isn’t much different.

So, last summer, when the street improvements project was in turmoil, I mentioned to Kip Greenhill that a committee of experienced Lakesiders might be able to solve the conundrum. My offer was that with enough coffee and donuts and a lunch or two, we could give it a go.

Kip and Jane Anderson asked engineers, finance and businesspeople, an attorney or two, construction executives and public relations folks to work together to solve the problem. The result was a wonderfully qualified, collegial, experienced and astute group focused on the real needs and means to repair our streets.

Interestingly, at the same time, a group of Lakeside residents created a prototype of the typical solution with the resurfacing project at the lakefront end of Peach Avenue. The beauty was that everything was accomplished by volunteers, all of whom have a deep concern and respect for Lakeside.

Thankfully, that model is demonstrated every day by so many who volunteer, from the lakefront to the Campground, to make Lakeside an enjoyable experience for us all. They are the generous and unsung men and women along with the Lakeside staff without whom Lakeside wouldn’t function.

On a personal note, I had the privilege of serving on the Lakeside Board of Directors under five Board Chairs. I was on the Board when it included 40 members, and I participated in the discussion to consider reducing the size to 25.

The 40-person board was unique. We had members from what seemed like every block in Lakeside. There were Lakeside business owners, clergy, businessmen and businesswomen, university faculty and professionals of every description. Our discussions were robust, and our experience was broad.

With the smaller board, it seemed we lost some of the breadth that was our unseen strength. Committee assignments were limited, and in some ways, less representative. Sure, there were folks who didn’t pull their weight. That was true regardless of the size. Perhaps intending to become more “current in our practice” we lost some of who we were as a community. Food for thought.

I hear folks talking about what Lakeside owes them. My hope as we navigate this 150th season is that we each consider how much we owe Lakeside.