Villa is a resident in Redlands who always goes out of his way for local youth to develop their sports skills

Within the field or playground, youth and children players are the stars, but outside, there is a whole community orchestrating and supporting acts so that they can develop sports talent.

John Villa, a resident of Redlands, is the leader of the community who plays both roles, always ensuring that no child or youth refrains from playing because they do not have the financial possibilities to pay the relevant expenses.

Villa is president of the Redlands Benchwarmers organization, which in Spanish means Calentabancas de Redlands, a non-profit organization that aims to prevent any student from the Redlands Unified School District and surrounding areas from losing the satisfaction that sports represent.

“My job is to facilitate monthly meetings and I am the key person for funding requests. I am also in charge of increasing economic funds through collections so that young people can continue to flourish, ”said Villa.

Born and raised in Redlands, Villa learned from his father Frank Villa, a World War II veteran who always taught him that goodness and community service are always welcome, and that when exercised with passion, the fruits are abundant.

As a young man, Villa learned from his coaches and community members the discipline and strength necessary to excel on the field, but he also learned to be a leader, a virtue he has put into action for decades.

In 1994, one of Villa's children began playing in the football league at the preparatory level, which he had participated in in the 1970s. That was when his thirst for volunteering was satisfied.

“I trained young people for the next 18 years, even when my children stopped playing. I also trained children in the baseball league. It's very satisfying, ”said Villa, father of four children and grandfather of six grandchildren.

In the field of employment, Villa serves as a consultant for distributors in the automotive company Cox, which allows him time to play the role of director of the organization founded in 1952 to support the athletic programs of the Boys and Girls club locally.

Since the beginning of its current term, the organization has distributed more than $ 85,000 to local schools to cover expenses for uniforms, equipment, rehabilitation work at baseball fields, installation of lockers for a swimming team, transportation and tickets for students of the Olympics Winter specials, among other expenses, Villa said.

In addition, since its inception, the organization has donated more than one million dollars for similar purposes, the coach added.

The Redlands High School graduate in 1974 added that none of this was possible without the support of an entire community that bets on sports.

“I really admire the many people who sacrifice their time and donate to service clubs. Some people go beyond spending several hours a week on things they are passionate about. Our members are role models, ”he said.

The voluntary work that Villa performs is notorious in times of crisis when school districts are forced to cut budgets impacting sports teams, just as it happened during the economic crisis of 2008-2009.

At that time, school districts across the country cut budgets, directly affecting sports and recreational programs.

Villa added that this effort is a lesson in team play, sacrifice, success and failures, all are situations that are applicable in life.

Urging the community to support sports talent, Villa said it is the only way to forge healthy neighborhoods and responsible adults.

“Get involved in the community, either monetarily or through volunteering. The young people will thank you, ”he added.

For more information about the organization, visit


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here