As promised, the following is a rundown on the success of the first year of our Membership model.

You will recall that the reason we tried a Membership model in the first place is because we are fast approaching retirement from the Town Crier, and we did not want the Town Crier to retire with us. We would not be able to pass it on to younger publishers (I’m 73) if it “broke even” only as long as its editor-in-chief — and its pickup and distribution person, proofreader, light-duty handyman, and sometime attorney were all working for free. That’s not “breaking even” at all.

All over our country, small-town newspapers are closing down because of insufficient advertising, which always has been the bread and butter of weekly papers. So, in an August 17, 2017, editorial entitled “Does the Town Crier have a future? Our readers must decide,” we fronted the TC’s situation and all the varied ways we had tried unsuccessfully to attract the needed advertising. We announced our new Membership model, with five tiers of support levels, as a last-ditch attempt to keep the TC serving our Hill community. We were deep in red ink.

Last year, on August 30, 2017, at a Rotary presentation about our new Membership model, someone asked how much I thought it would need to bring in each year to keep the paper going, and I gave my best estimate as “a minimum of around $85, 000.”

Of course, we had no idea whether the Membership model would work at all, much less produce at least $85,000 annually. We were going to need a whole lot of support from our readers, and we couldn’t know how much good will the Town Crier had with you all.

For good reason, we are not a nonprofit, so Membership contributions are not tax deductable. What we can and do offer as yearly Membership incentives are: a mailed and online subscription to the Town Crier, a nice-looking window decal identifying you as a Town Crier Member, recognition of your Membership level in the newspaper (unless you request anonymity), a very nice discount card for use at the Red Kettle restaurant (courtesy of owner Bruce Ross), and — most important of all — the pleasure and satisfaction of knowing that you are doing your part to support a real newspaper on our Hill for the benefit of our entire community.

Well, you all rose to the occasion. The level of good will the Town Crier has in our community surprised even us. As of the close of business on Friday, August 30, 2018, the Town Crier boasted 650 Members who, in their very first year, delivered $92,206 in Membership contributions to bring us out of the red ink. We now can boast and advertise for sale a newspaper wherein the publisher-editor is being modestly compensated at an acceptable level, and additional funds are available to pay for the part-time jobs of pickup and distribution, proofreading, and light-duty handyman work.

And it might surprise you to learn that most of our Members — 52 percent — have their Town Criers delivered to off-Hill mailing addresses.

Please join us for our weekly news meetings, which are open to the public. That is where we take comments from our readers and make decisions as to upcoming stories. Because of growing attendance at our news meetings, we now are holding them at Idyllwild Public Library. They generally are Wednesdays at 8:30 a.m., but when Monday is a Town Crier holiday — as Labor Day was this week — they will be held on Thursday at the library at 8:30 a.m. So we’ll meet on Thursday, September 6 this week.

The following is a list of Town Crier Charter Members, i.e., those who became Members during the first year of our Membership model. Their names will be framed and forever posted in the Town Crier office. Thank you all!

Idyllwild Town Crier

Charter Members


(650 Charter Members contributing $92,206) 

Saving and Supporting the Town Crier
for our Community

Angels (5) ($7,956) — Other amount, unlimited above $1,000 annually:  Nancy Borchers $2,000; Ying Chen & Andrew Lichtman, attorneys at law $1,006; Kathy & Tom Kluzak $1,250; Sub Rosa Apothecary (Julia Meadows & Marc Peterman) $1,200; (1) Anonymous $2,500.

Heroes (4) ($4,000) — $1,000 annually:  Anne & Barnaby Finch; Charles “Chic” Fojtik; Janice Lyle; (1) Anonymous $1,000.

Patrons (10) ($5,100) — $500+ annually:  Scott Bump & Cynthia Grady; Morgan Cannon; Kitty Kieley Hayes; Pamela Jordan & Christopher Scott; Ron Luebbert; The Mills Family; Red Wolf Lodge $600; Dave & Shanna Robb; (2) Anonymous $500.

Sponsors (76) ($19,250) — $250+ annually:  Donald Abrams; Sharon & Thomas Apostle; Austin Tile (Chris & Julee Austin); Paul Bailey; Baldy Mountain Ranch (Alma Peters); Robert Ballard; Roy Bell; Anne Bleaden; Christopher Brightman; Pete & Suzy Capparelli; Blair Ceniceros; Diann Coate; Laurel & Redmond Corbett; Arthur & Deborah Cravets; David Cutter Certified Financial Planner (Barbara & David Cutter) $350; Sandii Castleberry Daigh; Isabelle Dubois; Gordon Duerr, Jr.; Byron & Marcia Edwards $300; Guy & Nancy Excell; The Family Business (tax preparation - Craig & Janice Coopersmith); Dave & Laurie Fraser; Marsha & Susan Freed; Friends of the Idyllwild Library; Friends of San Jacinto Mountain County Parks; Dick & Karen Hadik; Paula & Robert Hetzler; David Hunt & Kris Kirschbaum; Idyllwild Backhoe (Carol & David Jones, Denise & Justin Jones); Idyllwild Vacation Rentals (Chris Titus); Christine Iger; Ben & Nanci Killingsworth; Anne & Jon King; Kathy & Will Kleindienst; Robert & Susan Krieger; Dianne Lake; Barbara Larsh; John Larue $350; Jason Laurence & Alexandra Napier; Life is Wonderful Society; Sharon Lilly; Martha Ludlum & Steven Morris; Chuck & Martha Lumia; Nancy Wallace Lungren for Don & Elizabeth Wallace Family Trust; Linda McCaughin & Phil Strong;
Margaret McTague; Charles & Margaret Mooney; Mountain High Escrow; Sue Nash & Tom Paulek; Thomas Noce; Oakwood Village (Dorie Kanning); Betty & Walter Parks; Ben & Rue Pine; Raphael Plunkett; Carmen & Greg Rich; Dr. Andy Ridgwell; Fran & Steve Robb; Martha & Scott Schroeder; Gary Schwandner; Dr. Sheryn Scott; Judith & Ronald Shenkman; Paul Shnable; Adele & Bob Smith; Karen Smith; Anne Stone; Robert Therieau; Greg Trigeiro; Terry Tweedt; Alex & Valerie Virtue; Barry & Jolene Wallace; Kay Wanner & Charlie Wix; Brian Weiss; Barbara Woolfolk; (3) Anonymous $250.

Sustaining Readers (555) ($55,900) — $100+ annually:  Karl Abert; Sharon Alexander & Paul Gittleson; Patricia Altman; Becky Andelson; Diane Anderson; Ellen Anderson-Alkire; D.M. Ankenbrandt; Dorinda & William Antkiewicz; Carolyn & James Ausman $200; Doug Austin; Jim & Mary Austin, a gift from Patricia Austin; Patricia Austin; Kathy Baele; Baily Winery (Carol & Phil Baily) $150; Bruce Bainbridge; Christopher Balian & Muriel Balian; Lynnette Banks; Randy Barnes; Susan & William Barnett; Cheryl & Lon Barr; Kristen Barry; Lulu Baskins-Leva & Gary Leva; Carol Bateman; Albert Bates; Jeanne Bauer; Kathleen & Ron Beaufort; Eric Becker; Darlene & Jerry Beebe; Nancy Beddingfield & Paul Leverenz; Nancy & Richard Beggs; Denise Belcher; Charles Bennett; Donald Bentley; Emil Bereczky; Harvey Berger & Janice Mulligan; Chris Berggren & John Weidner; Kerry Berman; Rick Bernardin; Cathy & Doug Bernhagen; Antoinette Berthelotte $125; Alan Bick; Daniel Bitner; Donald & Robert Blackman; Richmond Blake; Jan Boller; William Bongiovanni; Will Bonnar & Karen Georg; John & Susanne Bonnet; Douglas & Maureen Boren; Ron Boustead & Ruth Riven Boustead; Suzanne Bowman; Deeann Bradley & Tim Chavez; Irene & Robert Brahm; Bernard & Jorgine Brause $200; Linda Briggs; Audrey Brown, a gift from Hill Champion; Denise Brown & David Golman; Paul Browne; Paula Browne & Joseph Stumpf; Ann & Neal Brukardt; Ann & Will Brundage; Edgar & Joyce Bryan; Kathy Bryson & Annette Wassell; Charles Buchanan; Jeanne & Jerry Buchanan; David & Marilyn Buck; Peter Buerkle; Brian Callahan; Kenneth Camoirano; Bruce Campbell; Nick Capaci & Jonde Northcutt; Dore Capitani & Patricia Tuley; Dr. Garrett & Harmeet Capune; John & Patricia Carratello; James Cate; Steve Chadwick; Annamae Chambers; Duane & Ermylee Chamlee; Ben & Jean Chase; Sanders Chase; Liz Chiment; Jeffrey Chojnacki; Becky & Jack Clark; Clear Water Pool and Spa Service (Allison & John Jordan); Reg & Tria Cohen & Rena Dear; Nancy Collins; George & Heather Companiott; Amy & Mike Conboy; Gail & John Cooley; Roberta Corbin & Lawrence Kueneman; Elena Courtemanche; Connie Cowan; Grethe Cox; Melanie & Tom Cox; Molly Cozens; Wayne Craycroft; Virginia Criste; Joe & Shawna Curtis; Barbara Czescik; Margaret & Michael D’Ambra; Namir Danluji; Jerry Daquila; Catherine Davis; Jayne Davis; Mark Davis & Eduardo Santiago; Iris & Peter Davison; Dave Day; James Deal; Susan De Antonio; Doug & Marta Deffenbaugh; Robert Dennon; John & Linda Denver; Ann & William DeWolfe; Mizzi Diamond & Tim Doyle; Tom Dickinson & Bev McCullough; Sherryn Digby; Linda Dinko, a gift from Spanky; Jon Dittmer; Ruthe Donlon; Steve Donnelly; Bonnie Doshier, a gift from Jean Stein; Don & Karen Doshier; Carolyn & James Drake; Leah Dugdale; Carol & Dennis Dunbar; Greg & Nancy Dunlap; Drs. Dunn & Dunn (Dr. Heber Dunn); John Dunne; Alicia & Stuart Eberhardt; Bonnie Emert; Sverre & Gerd Eng; Anne Erikson; Jennie & Steven Espinosa; Pat Evans; Everitt’s Minerals & Gallery (Janet & Larry Everitt); Ellen Feeley & David Jason; Cleve & Peggy Ferguson; Fern Creek Medical Center; Fern Valley Inn (Gary & Marcie Erb); Fern Valley Water District; Karen Fina; Steve Firestone & Kali Moya; Juanita First; Niel Fishback; Farah Fisher; Maurice Flora & Aletrice Martin; Amy Fogerson & Kent Weishaus; Chris Fox; Michael Franich; Michael & Sherri Frank; Françoise Frigola; Keith & Sandy Froehlich; Tedd Froehlich; Mike & Julie Furby; Roland Gaebert; Bruce & Carolyn Ganoe; Gary Garcia; Gary Gardener; Merle & Rosemarie Gardner; Eileen & Jim Gates; Julie Gibson-Vasquez; Don & Louise Giger; John Gill; John & Kathleen Gilliland; Cathy & Gil Gillogly; Bobbie & Gary Glasheen; Janice Godke; Elaine Godzak; Dick & Jan Goldberg; Dottie & Mel Goldfarb; Christine & Jan Goldsmith; Jeffrey Gonzales; Eleanor Gorth $200; Mary Gosney & Rebecca Gunn; Galal Gough; Patti Gould; Gary & Joan Gray; Bob & Corinne Greenamyer; Karin & Richard Greenwood; Harry Griswold & Stephanie Webber; Mark & Angela Gross; Virginia Grumbles; Mark Gumprecht & Christine Rheaume; Kathleen and Robert Haine; Carolyn Hall; Donna Hannefield & Russell Smith; Linda Hanson; Marcia Harlan & Charles Phelan; Matt & Regina Harrigan, a gift from James Harrigan; Alan Harvey; Judy Haw; Maury Heden; Karin Hedstrom; Emily Heebner & Eric Young; Hemet Public Library; Hemet Unified School District; Janice Herdey; Carole Herman & Sandi Mathers; Paul & Theresa Hert; Wayne Hester; Robert Hewitt & Janice Murasko; David Hiemenz & Bronwyn Jones; Elaine Hill; Helen & Jeff Hixon; Jim & Mary Hobbes; Heidi & Todd Hoggan; Jerry & Kathryn Holldber; Walt Holloway; Peggy Holsclaw; Richard Honn & Marguerite Snow; Ken Hooton; Douglas Hopper; Jan Houghton; Christy & Robert Howard; Wayne Howard; Eugene Hubbard; Kim & Lowell Hudson; Paul Hudson; Bobbi Huinker; Frank Hungerford; Larry Hyder; Barbara Hynes; Joan Marie & Thomas Iaccino; Idyllwild Animal Rescue Friends; Idyllwild Help Center; Idyllwild Master Chorale; Idyllwild Ventures (Neal Goldman); Idyllwild Water District; Tom Inocencio & Gail Wesson; David Israelsky & Janice Zahn; Don “Jac” & Mimi Jacaruso; Ron Jackson, a gift from Scott Corbett; Jan Jaspers-Fayer (#1); Jan Jaspers-Fayer (#2); Martha Jay; Laurie Jewell & David Wieder; Walter & Jeri John; David & Marla Johnson; Ed & Linda Johnson; Gary & Suzanne Johnson; Josh & Lea Johnson; Julie Johnson; Barbara Jones; Wendy Kahle; Lorraine Kassarjian; Alta Kavanaugh; Ron Keating; Dave Keena; Doug Kelbert; David Kelley; Bill Kellogg; Donna & Sam Kelly; Marilyn Kemple; Donna Kennedy & William Linehan; Teresa Kilfoyle; Sharon & Tom Killeen $150; Ted & Beverly Kilman; Lawrence King; Barbara & Ted Kinoshita; Dan Kirby; Stan Kling; Helen Knauer; Lydia & Wolfgang Knauss; Julie Koppel; Marcia & Ron Krull; Paul Kucharczyk; Nadiene Kuhn for Diane Smith; Diana & Terry Kurr; Carl & Pamela Lagoni, a gift from Maxine Wells; Lake Hemet Municipal Water District; Don & Mimi Lamp; Karen & Mel Lansky; James Larkin; Gordon Larson; Elaine Latimer; Erin Latimer; Lynn & Randall Leake; Dale & Linda Lee; Ileana Lee; David Leonard; Daniel & Jane Levy; Trudy Levy; John Lewis; Robert Lippert; Marja Liski; Living Free; Elizabeth Locke; Elaine Lockhart; Barbara & Michael Longbrook; Rafael Lopes; Cathy & Dave Lopez; Kathy & Ken Luber; Virginia Lumb; Marsha Lytle; Kerry & William Manos; Virginia Mardesich; Pandra & Tapio Markkula; Michèle Marsh & Peter Szabadi; Brian Marshall; Brian C. Marshall; Barbara Mathahs; Erin Matthews; Lynette Maxey; Barbara & Robert McCalla; Lucy McCampbell; Bret McCaughin-Strong; Carol McClintic; Ralph McClurg; Joan McCullough; Maureen McElligott; Bob & Marilyn McEwen; Cal & Nancy McIntosh; Dick McKee, a gift from Jerry & Kathryn Holldber in memory of Virginia; Michael McKenzie & Robert Thorson; Colonel & Bonnie McLyman; Kelly McMakin; Jane Meier; Joan Melling; Carol Mendoza; Chris & Harry Metz; George & Sheila Meyer; Leslea Meyerhoff; Maurice Meysenburg; Middle Ridge Winery Tasting Gallery (Chris & Melody Johnston); Susan Millard; Dawn & Tom Miller; Mary Ann Miller; John & Judi Missett; Helen & Stan Molles; Marcia & Richard Montaño; Melissa Montgomery-Lynch; Elanie Moore; Tim Moore; Maria & Mark Morgan; Eugene Mossey; Walt & Liz Mueller; Carol Murrel; John Myers; Lauren & Mark Myers; Susan Myers; Wayne Myers & Aaron Twombly; Brenda Nelson; June Nelson; Marion Nelson; Kristin Neubauer; Christen Ng; Shannon Ng; NL Enterprises (Jaunice Lovett); Jeanene Noren; Debbie Nystrom; Gwen Oesch; Dawn & Jim O’Keeffe; Jean & Tom Olivas; Ron & Stacy Olivier; Diane & Edward Olson; Steve Olson & Stephanie Yost; David Oltman; Erin O’Neill; Perry Osborne; Margaret Paklos $125; Marcel Pariseau; Robert Parker; Neil Passage; Gerald Pauley; Hank Pawlak; Anthony Pearson; David Pearson; Barbara & Dave Pelham; Tony Peña; Michael Pent; Performance Pumping, Inc. (Brad Hamby); Kim & Mark Perine, a gift from Robin Boyd; Heather Perry; Cecil & Shirley Peters; Robert Peterson; John Petty; Fred Phillippi; Nichole Picchcottino; Marlene & Thomas Pierce; Daniel & Susan Pietsch; Pine Springs Ranch; Karen Polik; Jim Pomeroy $150; Jenny Price; Sharon Price; Linda Pullen-Buehl; Jack & Nancy Pyster; Queen of Angels Catholic Church; Karen Radis; Bob & Elaine Rahman; Elizabeth Ramstead; The Red Kettle (Bruce Ross); Ed & Sandy Reed; Mike Reed; Jim Rees; Kathryn Reeves; Don & Nancy Reiterman; A. & Linda Rewiski; Robin & William Rhoads; Patsy Richards; Linda & Manny Rider; Mary Rider; Margaret & Ned Roberts; Debbi Roeder; Maureen & Steve Rose; Kim Rosko; Francis Rothleubber; Don & Julie Roy; Robert Sandifer; Sandlin & Son Refrigeration (David Sandlin); Cheryl Sautter-Konyn; Henry Sawicki; Lenore Sazer; Dan Scanny; Alice & Vic Scavarda; Charles Schelly; Maxine Schenk; Erna & John Schmid; Joye Schmiedt; Dick & Kathy Schmitt; Richard Schnetzer; Jeanette Schultejann; Glenn & Susan Schumacher; Donna Scott; Linda & Stan Scott; Marilyn Sears; Shaklee (Merrie VonSeggern); Manon Shapiro; Steve Shaw; Dale Sheneman; Doug & Lois Sheppard; Teruo Shida; Diane Shilton; Mary Jo Shinkle; Terry Shirley; Mark Silverman; Silver Pines Lodge; Dana & Fred Simmons; Carol Simonek; Bee Smith; Bill & Linda Smith; Greg Smith; Kristie Smith; Lisa & Tim Smith; Penelope Smrz; Soroptimist International of Idyllwild; Lindsay Speed; John Spielmann; Jeannie Sprenger; Patricia & Will Sproule; Edward Stavert; Bob & Carol Steele; Jana & Kent Steele; Heather Steer; Jean Stein & Pamela Williams; Steven Steinberg; Kirk & Yvonne Stephenson; Diana Stewart; St. Hugh’s Episcopal Church; Richard & Stephanie Stinson; Charles & Kathy Storrie; Patsy & Steven Stratton; Thomas Strobbe; Christine Strutzel; Alexis & Michael Stumpf; Richard Succa; Daniel & Gigi Suiffet; Stephen Sutton; Gregory Swajian; Barbara Swanson; Virginia Swendson; Mary Talley; Jim Tanner; Jacob & Theresa Teel; Colleen & William Tell; Temple Har Shalom of Idyllwild; James & Joanne Tenney; Linda & Mike Terry; TetraDym Inc. (Bill Protzmann); John Thomford; Cindy & Phil Thompson; Harriet Thompson; Norman Toback; Ian & Jeanie Tober; Arthur Tobias & Debra Varnado; Brian & Kathleen Tracy; Alicia & Howard Tuttle; Alicia & Howard Tuttle for Bill Tuttle; D.F. & Giana Tweedie; Scott Tyler; Jimmie Tyson; Janice Ulmer; Brenda Underwood; Scott Underwood; Deidre & Joe Vail; Sebastian Vale; David Verplank; Jacqueline Wagner; Bob Wailes; Marcia Waldorf; Anne & Douglas Walker; Barb & Thom Wallace; Jimmy & Sue Wallen; John Walsh; Nancy Walters for Jane Lucero; Pamela Walton; Cheryle Waner; Bill Waring; Glenn Warren; Sallie Warwick; Annette Wassell c/o Aria Board & Care; Gary & Susan Weber; Judy & Mike Weeks; Leslie Weidner; Charles & Susan Weisbart; Helge Weissig; Sheila Weldon; Sharon & Stephen White; Whitman Physical Therapy (Bill Whitman); John Whitworth; Bob & Sunny Wilcox; Richard Wilkerson; Barbara & Steve Wilkes; Carl & Ruth Williams; Joanne Williams; Halie & Johnny Wilson; Henry & Judy Wilson; Elizabeth & Thomas Wirt; Jim Wise; Bob Wissman; John Wokurka; Catherine Wood; Dennis & Jane Woodard; Patricia Woolley; James Wymer & Soheir Ibrahim; Fredricka & Paul Young; Linda Young, a gift for Grace Moore; Lynn Young; Sandy Ziegler for Michael Van Zee; Jim & Mary Zimmerman; Shannah Zorn; Alexander & Lorna Zukas; (1) Anonymous $200; (10) Anonymous $100.