Local nonprofit Young Idyllwild has as its primary mission education — the mentoring and guidance of the young people of Idyllwild on how to become strong community leaders.

Young Idyllwild was the vision of Kathy Sacher Wilson, who saw a need to coach and mentor Idyllwild young people though participation in projects that required cooperation and interaction. “Young Idyllwild is dedicated to improving the quality of life for the whole community, not just our younger residents,” said Wilson. “But for those who are younger, this will be an opportunity for them to pay it forward — to learn skill sets that could evolve into jobs that help others.”

Wilson’s Idyllwild Haunted Ghost Town was a primary venue for both bankrolling the organization and for mentoring the young people who served as actors and crew as part of the month-long October event.

Wilson is taking a temporary leave of absence for health reasons. She is concerned there is not yet a permanent home for the Halloween project. Without an October season, funding for Young Idyllwild would be dramatically reduced.

Roger Gentry, Young Idyllwild president, is, nevertheless, upbeat. “Administratively, we’re very lean and the projects we have at present — the community garden and Radio Idyllwild — are self-funded through donations of money and time,” he said.

“We’re talking with Lake Hemet Campground about hosting the Ghost Town but as yet, there’s no agreement. We’re optimistic but may have to put the event off for a year.

“With the garden, we’ve graded the land and have our volunteers working to tier the land as we want it to be. The whole purpose is to use the garden as an educational resource — how to grow your own food. Ferro [Restaurant] has been helping us with composting material for transforming the soil. We hope to be producing some crops next season.”

With Gentry at the helm, Arn Hancock as vice president and Jennifer Kraften as secretary, Young Idyllwild is optimistic and forward-thinking about its present projects and future prospects.