By Stephanie Yost

As part of its annual governance, the Idyllwild Community Center (ICC) has recently made changes to its board of directors and officers.

In December, two of its long-standing board members — Idyllwild resident Wendy Read and Pine Cove resident Barry Wallace — retired from the board. ICC is grateful to them both for their many years of service to ICC and their strong commitment to our mountain communities.

December additions to the board are Les Gin and Laura Alvarez. They join current board members Chris Singer Perreault, Terry Shirley, Brad Rechtfertig and me.

Gin and his wife Holly Parsons retired to Idyllwild in 2016. Originally from Tucson, Arizona, Gin spent more than 40 years as a banker and was the founding president of the Asian Bank of Arizona in Phoenix. Since coming to Idyllwild, Gin and Parsons have created and published Idyllwild Life Magazine.

An active member of Rotary, Gin has helped with ICC’s Feeding America food box distribution, which occurs on the first Tuesday of every month outside of Town Hall from 10 a.m. to noon. He is also a member of the board of the Art Alliance of Idyllwild.

“I believe that alliances between organizations enhance the quality of life for all residents, which is why I am excited to expand my community involvement by serving on ICC’s board,” said Gin.

Laura Alvarez, who works remotely as a telecom management expense specialist/project coordinator with AMN Healthcare, is no stranger to the Hill. She has come to Idyllwild every year since 1999 for Christmas, staying at Silver Pines Lodge.

Starting in 2002, Alvarez began cooking Christmas dinner for lodge guests and locals who stopped by. In December 2019, Alvarez decided to make Idyllwild her home, becoming a full-time resident in May 2020.

Despite COVID limitations, Alvarez jumped into community volunteerism immediately, helping with ICC’s Halloween “Car”nival and its Feeding America food box distribution.

“Serving on ICC’s board will allow me to connect more with the community and make a difference for residents and visitors, as well as meet new people and create new friendships,” said Alvarez.

At its January meeting, the ICC board elected its officers for 2021: Stephanie Yost (president), Brad Rechtfertig (vice president), Terry Shirley (treasurer), and Chris Singer Perreault (secretary), with Gin and Alvarez serving as board members.

Currently, in addition to the Feeding America program, ICC is providing low-cost child care with academic support at its Town Hall Distance Learning Camp during school hours Monday to Friday.

ICC hopes to reopen the Town Hall Sunday Farmers Market in mid-March, weather permitting and subject to stable community COVID-19 numbers.