Terry Shirley is here to do that
Terry Shirley, formerly of San Diego, is one of the newest members to join the Idyllwild Community Center (also know as the San Jacinto Mountain Community Center) Board of Directors.
Similar to many residents, Shirley is not a native of Idyllwild (almost). He and his wife moved here in October 2017, only three months after retiring from Cox Target Media. This was his second retirement, because he was called back to help Cox since he was an early and successful Internet marketer.
But he is not new to Idyllwild and already is an active resident.
Until he was age 12, his family lived in the Imperial Valley, then San Diego; but Shirley’s aunt and uncle had a cabin in Idyllwild. So he spent many youthful summer days here.
“I have many fond memories of trips to Idyllwild,” he related. “We bought a horse, and I rode into the village and all over the Hill. Compared to Imperial Valley, Idyllwild was paradise.”
In San Diego, Shirley was active in many community and local groups as well as his alma mater, San Diego State University. And ICC is not his only focus for volunteerism here. In May 2018, Riverside County 3rd Supervisor Chuck Washington appointed him to the Local Review Board of the Idyllwild Historic Preservation District.
His community involvement in San Diego taught Shirley that “everything happens at the local level. Local volunteers who help are committed to the community,” he observed.
“And in Idyllwild, it is amazing to see the commitment from the local community members to get things done,” he said.
Consequently, his need to participate began with a phone call to Washington’s office and a discussion of local groups who needed help and how to get involved. They suggested he visit the ICC website, which very much impressed him with its extent of commitment for a huge goal for a small community.
After attending an ICC board meeting and talking with Janice Lyle, ICC board president, he wanted to participate. Shirley saw the community’s commitment to the goal of a community center and park. But he was amazed at the depth of the commitment given the time it has taken to achieve each incremental step.
With his marketing experience, Shirley offered to focus on raising funds for phases 2 and 3 — the building and gymnasium.
“Terry brings enthusiasm and great follow-through to the fund-raising effort for the ICC,” Lyle said. “He is skilled at writing and connecting with people to ensure our grant applications can succeed.”
Phase 1, the site grading and amphitheater, will be completed this month. “There is a lot interest in the amphitheater and usage for it,” Shirley noted. With its completion and use, Shirley hopes that it will help attract people to the Hill to offset the winter weather and road closures.
Shirley recognizes that Phase 2 will take more time. Even with completed plans, the permitting process is likely to consume a year.
Nearly $1.6 million is currently available for Phase 2. But he is trying to secure more to ensure the building will be able to accommodate all of the community’s needs. He has already begun preparing a grant application.
This application is for funds from Proposition 68, which voters approved in the June 2018 election. This prop is an authorization for the state to borrow and to use $4 billion for parks, environmental protection and water infrastructure projects. More than $700 million, the largest portion, is earmarked for “neighborhood parks in park-poor” areas.
“The money is already available, the application cut off [date] is Aug. 5,” Shirley said, describing the board’s efforts. He thinks, “ICC is in a very strong position,” but added, “Nothing is guaranteed.”
The county and the Riverside County Regional Park and Open-Space District are both supporting the ICC request. Shirley also has met with Congressman Dr. Raul Ruiz’s staff and discussed opportunities for federal grants.
Shirley also has begun planning for raising funds to complete Phase 3 — the gymnasium. He would like to have that money available before Phase 2 is completed. He acknowledges that it takes time for planning and permitting, but he would like to avoid any delay caused by inadequate funds.
Public involvement is critical to the board designing and building facilities that will serve and attract the public, Shirley emphasized. Lyle, future President Stephanie Yost and the rest of the board all concur. How ICC can ensure its contribution to the community will receive much attention over the next year, he added.
“ICC is all volunteers. I think people don’t realize, and that’s the case with all communities,” he said.