Editor’s note: Each week we will introduce one of the five new appointees to the County Service Area 36 Advisory Council, appointed by the Riverside County Board of Supervisors to oversee recreation and tree lighting activities within the district. This week we profile Wendy Read.
Wendy Read, tapped to serve on the CSA 36 Advisory Council, knows the community, knows sports and knows how volunteering serves the greater good. She was the Town Crier’s Volunteer of the Year last year, 2015.
An Idyllwild resident for more than 25 years, Read has raised her children as participants in community sports and has volunteered in areas that support youth and recreation. She has been a member of the board of the Idyllwild School PTA from 1998 to now, three times as president and four as treasurer; served as a coach of youth soccer from 1998 to 2013; served as Hemet/San Jacinto American Youth Soccer Association Idyllwild director from 1999 to 2013; and been a member of the Idyllwild Garden Club, in charge of the Idyllwild School Junior Garden Club, from 2004 to now.
She also served on the Idyllwild School’s Site Council from 2002 through 2004, and was an active participant in seeing that the gymnasium and top-field projects were carried through to successful completion.
Read, whose work background is in office management, has a fondness for numbers and order. In organizing youth soccer, she emphasized the need for rules — for the young players to understand and play by the rules of the game. She brings an affable meticulousness to whatever task she takes on.
She volunteers in the classroom at Idyllwild School, something she has done since her first child started school there in 1998. On the Monday of her interview for this article, she cheerily made the transition from classroom to dirt and paint, working in one of the many student gardens she and her mother, Antje Banks, have helped create with and for the school Junior Garden Club.
What is notable about Read is that she continues to serve programs she has organized and on boards she has joined. Once involved, she stays committed.
She and her mother created and continue to manage the Victorian Tea that has become the signature event of the annual Idyllwild Lilac Festival in April. She worked with Town Hall recreation to start the soccer program and will continue to review recreation programs as a CSA 36 council member.
She was the only female “captain” during the Idyllwild Playground build in 2012 and now serves as a member of the Idyllwild Community Center Board, currently as treasurer. She has remained on the Idyllwild School PTA board and served as a classroom aide throughout the tenure of all of her children — 18 years.
When asked why, with all her volunteer activities, she sought a seat on the CSA Advisory Council, she said, “I wanted to see that Town Hall recreation would be locally managed.” Read noted that over the last few years, especially under management of the county’s Parks and Open Space District, programs were not handled well. “They kept bringing people up here that didn’t know or didn’t care,” she said. “For the last year, the front door of Town Hall has not worked.”
And slip-shod management does not work for Read. “If it was up to me, I would keep going until the job was done,” she said. And that statement sums up how Read views responsibility and the kind of overview she will bring to service on the CSA Council.