Christopher Scott, president of the Idyllwild Rotary Club.
Photo by Tom Kluzak

Service, whether as a professional or a volunteer, has been one of the anchors of Christopher Scott’s life. He is neither a native “hillbilly” nor a long-time resident. But Scott’s devotion to serving his community is becoming well known on the Hill, especially as he bestows the Idyllwild Rotary mugs to guest speakers each week. Scott is the new Rotary president.

Scott has been an Idyllwild resident just four years, longer than some and a newbie to many. He chose Idyllwild because his wife, Pamela Jordan, became the president of the Idyllwild Arts Foundation in July 2014. They moved here from Chicago.

Chicago was Scott’s home, where he was born. He was a professional musician, mostly classical and jazz, and a fundraiser for many nonprofit organizations in Chicago. His primary clients were the University of Chicago and the Chicago Opera Theatre.

Now, the Idyllwild community is the beneficiary of Scott’s enthusiasm and drive. Not only does he eagerly share the Rotary squirrels and mugs, but he finds enjoyment serving outside, too. He is a Forest Service volunteer wilderness ranger and lookout at Tahquitz Peak. He also is applying his fundraising experience to help the Idyllwild Community Fund.

“Doing good things in a good community,” is Scott’s credo and life. “I jumped in with both feet to serve the community,” he said. “I did not expect the work to be as much fun or such a purposeful club focused on serving.

“Since joining the Rotary in 2014, it’s been a fabulous dream,” he added. And the Idyllwild Rotary is the premier volunteer service organization on the Hill. The Rotary organizes the annual Fourth of July Parade, the Thanksgiving Harvest Festival, a Labor Day deep-pit barbecue, trash bins around town, ribbon cuttings for new businesses and raising banners over North Circle Drive every Monday.

Later this month, the Rotary volunteered to serve as cooks for the Idyllwild Fire Department’s benefit on Sept. 29.

And through the club’s dues to the International Rotary, Idyllwild participates in Rotary projects in Brazil and Mexico, such as urban efforts and polio vaccines.

“I’m honored to serve as president. I appreciate their trust,” Scott said. Although relatively new to the Hill, Scott said there still are many former presidents in the Rotary on whom he can rely for special circumstances and history.

So far, nothing has surprised him as president. “It was my turn to step up and to serve. We have a line of leadership and it’s important to know when it’s your time. It’s an honor.”

Scott foresees the Rotary’s involvement in the responses to the Cranston Fire. With several fundraisers over and more planned, he is taking a cautious approach. “The Rotary is very interested in the relief and help. But we want to determine how to do that in the most meaningful and impactful way.”

Scott’s term as Rotary president began July 1 and continues until July 2019. Over the year, he sees the Rotary continuing to serve the community in a multitude of ways. So, his goal is to try to increase the current membership of 41 in order to offer more and better assistance.

“If anyone on the Hill decides to serve the community and have fun doing it, the Rotary might be for them,” he pitched.

Despite his many community activities, Scott proudly said his “… most important job is supporting Pam and the great work she and the people at Idyllwild Arts are doing.”

You will see him at most of the school’s events. He was at every venue during the Jazz in the Pines festival, although his trombone stayed in the case. In the mountains, he has returned to an early affection for the bass.

“I’ve never lived in a small town before and didn’t know what to expect,” Scott noted. “But I’ve found a great sense of a community, who wants to help each other, and I love that and want to be part of that.”