Close this search box.
Lakesider News

Lakeside Volunteer: Jim Casner enjoys giving back

By Kevin Greer
Lakeside Communications Manager

Jim Casner is a self-described “low-key guy.” That doesn’t mean he hides or avoids people.

Casner is a year-round Lakeside resident who is quite visible, especially during the summer. He volunteers his time preparing flowerpots in the spring and as a shuttle driver during the Chautauqua season.

“I stay on the down low,” Casner said. “I just get up in the morning and do whatever the day brings.”

Casner started coming to Lakeside in 1954 when his parents bought a cottage. He spent summers in the community with his family and worked several different jobs prior to heading off to college and the Marine Corps Reserves.

“I had about every job in Lakeside, except the CEO,” Casner quipped.

After graduating from the University of Akron, he and his wife bought a cottage, sold it and purchased a house a few years later. He’s a retired teacher who worked with high school behavior disorder kids for over 40 years with Canton City Schools.

Casner used to sail a lot on Lake Erie on his Sunfish, but “retired” from that a couple years ago. He also used to do yard work in the summer and take care of snow in the winter at Lakeside.

He stays active by driving the shuttle during the season and working in the greenhouse in April. He washes and paints over 300 flowerpots, then gets them ready to be placed all over the community for the summer.

“I enjoy it,” Casner said. “I’m by myself in the greenhouse listening to rock and roll and doing my thing.”

Casner says Lakeside is a special place and people tell him how much they enjoy visiting almost daily while driving the shuttle.

“It’s just a friendly, happy little place,” Casner said. “Everybody says hello to each other. I’ve had people say on the shuttle, ‘I feel like I’m in a Hallmark movie.’ I don’t watch those movies, but it’s such a good atmosphere here.”

Casner started volunteering when Vern Hartenburg approached him a few years back about joining the Grounds Team. Casner decided to volunteer instead and says it’s meaningful to help in any way possible and encourages others to do the same.

“I like people and I like to help people do stuff,” Casner said. “My wife passed away in 2019 and I had a void my life. I had to do something. Many Lakesiders do a lot of volunteer work. I do a little bit, it’s a commitment to the community and it helps people feel good. I think it’s important to give back, and volunteering is something I can do.”

The Lakesider would like to recognize Lakesiders for the volunteer work that goes unnoticed. If you would like to be recognized or know someone who should, send an email to or call 419-798-4461, ext. 331.


Related News