Kathy Sacher Wilson has long been an advocate for Idyllwild’s young people, coaching them into volunteer teams of actors and support personnel for her annual Idyllwild Haunted Ghost Town. The event raises money for sports scholarships for Town Hall recreation activities.
Said Wilson, “I am an advocate for the well being of local youth and young adults. I would like to help provide them the tools and resources to succeed in a career and to have a positive future.” Her actors and crew for Ghost Town are often the young people she mentors and supports. They learn, under her guidance, to work together productively and to feel pride in the event they help produce.
Wilson applied to join the revamped CSA 36 Advisory Council for a simple reason — she wanted to help expand recreational opportunities for people of all ages, especially for older teens and young adults who need both opportunities for growth and leadership to help them grow. That is what Wilson has tried to do with her Ghost Town.
As for her service on the advisory council that will begin meeting in July, Wilson said, “Recreation has not been managed properly for many years and has often been incomplete. We need activities for all ages, including the older teens, young adults and seniors. Recreation is not just youth sports, although they are important. We once had classes for activities like gymnastics, dance and martial arts. I would like to see a return of these classes, as well as a theater workshop for all ages.”
Wilson noted the need for organized hikes, fun runs, summer outdoor movie nights, community events and tournaments. “Local recreation should be viewed as a business,” she said. “Yes, we have the CSA funding, but we can also bring in additional revenue and possibly grants and program sponsorships. Scholarships for low-income youth are very important.”
Wilson ripped recent county association with her Ghost Town enterprise. “Last year, the girl working at Town Hall coordinating recreation said she could help with staffing for Ghost Town. We have never had paid staff, only volunteers, but if she wanted to help [as a volunteer], great. The first weekend [of Ghost Town] we noticed several unfamiliar faces, paid staff as it turned out, just standing around. The second weekend she brought up 15 and some said they were on overtime.”
Wilson said the amount the county deducted from her revenues was unjustified and thwarted the purpose for which Ghost Town was organized — raising scholarship money for youth recreation. “This is just one example [of county mismanagement],” she noted. By serving on the CSA 36 Advisory Council, Wilson hopes to avoid this kind of what she sees as fiscal irresponsibility.
“The Town Hall building has been neglected for years,” she noted. “The outdoor stage is rotten. The lack of proper rain water irrigation needs to be addressed. The bottom floor [of Town Hall] floods every time we have a substantial rainfall.”
Wilson is the mother of five and the current executive officer for the Idyllwild Association of Realtors. She also is a bookkeeper for several local businesses. “Our family has had a home on the Hill since 1967,” she said. “We made it full-time in 2002. My grandparents came to this country in the 1920s from Austria and visited the Hill often. Both my father and father-in-law were community oriented, and it was how I was brought up.”
Wilson worked with much-loved Jimmy Campbell at Town Hall when he managed recreation. Her dedication to providing opportunities for Idyllwild’s young people has been demonstrated by the events she has organized over the years on their behalf.