This year’s Ernie Maxwell Community Spirit Award goes to Stephanie Yost.

Ernie Maxwell Community Spirit Award winner Stephanie Yost

“I am humbled and honored by this community recognition,” said Yost. “As president of the Idyllwild Community Center, there is much we’ve been able to accomplish, but many more important projects and programs still lie ahead. Since coming to Idyllwild 33 years ago, I’ve loved the mountain communities and I look forward to more opportunities to help however I can.”

Yost has been vital to the mountain’s youth activities, concerts (pre-COVID), day care and continuing the Low-income Commodity Distribution. In addition, she orchestrated a new home for the weekly Farmers Market. Yost can be seen in the community handing out masks and answering businesses’ questions about reopening. She is a member of Soroptimist International of Idyllwild and serves as a docent for the Idyllwild Area Historical Society.

The honor is given to an individual or group who represents EMax’s spirit of community and volunteerism. Prior awardees took actions that created a spark sufficient to bring others into the fray, just as Maxwell did with his activities involving the environment.

Nominations for the annual Ernie Maxwell Community Spirit Award come from community members. Once nominations are received, the Town Crier staff selects the top three. The community then votes for the winner. Winners’ names are engraved on a plaque in the Town Crier office.

The nine previous awardees were the Mountain Communities Fire Safe Council in 2011, Dawn Sonnier in 2012, Robert Priefer in 2013, Annamarie Padula in 2014, Wendy Read in 2015, Robert Hewitt and Janice Murasko in 2016, Jay Muldar in 2017, Dave and Loie Butterfield in 2018 and Phyllis Mueller in 2019.