Creston California
History of the C A T C H Fund in Creston  by Ann Spencer

         A tradition of doing what needs to be done "by ourselves" came to Creston through our pioneer ancesters. From building a School House in the 1880's, a community swimming pool in the early 1960's, a Volunteer Fire House in the 1980's, and more recently, the Volunteer Community Demonstration Garden in the early 1990's, these are a few examples of Creston's pride in "getting the job done" in the true tradition of our pioneers founders. Creston was founded in 1884 ( the brief history of Creston is elsewhere on this web site ).
        During the 1970's and 1980's, many avenues were explored, looking for a way to provide a real community building and a recreational area in Creston.  Creston has been growing, so we need one that is large enough for full use.
       In 1993, all of the active community organizations in Creston joined together in this common purpose, and established the CATCH Fund, which is a trust fund to build this community center. CATCH stands for Creston Activities Town Center Helping-hands. Shortly thereafter, Creston "took the bull by the horns" and created an annual fund raiser: The Creston Classic Rodeo.
      In 1995, the "CCR" became a reality, as well as the major source of income for the CATCH Fund, which holds all the money "in trust" toward our community goal.  The following service organizations support CATCH: The CCR, the Creston Garden Club, The Men's Club, the Volunteer Fire Department, and the Creston Women's Club. In February of 2006,  San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Jim Patterson announced that an agreement between SLO county and the Algee Family Trust has secured a small parcel of land for the goal of a community center. Creston can now, finally, see the light at the end of the tunnel!
     A community Swap Meet/Flea Market was held in October of 2005 to benefit the CATCH fund, with nearly $1000 being raised. Other fund raisers are being planned. The Creston Classic Rodeo is held in the middle of September at the "Rodeo
Grounds" on the corner of Highway 229 ( also known as Webster Road ) and Swayze Street, downtown. The rodeo has grown so much over the years, thanks to our loyal sponsors and community volunteers.
            As  of the end of October of 2007, this fund has grown to about $90,000. Our County Supervisor, Jim Patterson, is hard at work trying to locate a suitable site for the new  CAL FIRE station. The process ran into some unexpected setbacks this past September, 2007. There is still the remote chance that the existing volunteer Fire Station will someday be converted into the Creston Community Center. I would hope that more residents will get involved in the fundraising efforts as we get closer to CATCHING  THE  DREAM of our Center.
      In October, 2008, the Rodeo Board donated $7500, Rodeo Queen Brittany Voss $500, and the Creston 4H $350, to bring the new balance in the Trust Fund to just over $100,000. Hopefully, someone (Rosie?) will update the huge wood Thermometer Billboard on the edge of town. The SLO County Board of Supervisors approved the location of the new CAL FIRE station along Hwy 229 at it's Oct 7th meeting. Jim Patterson
 supports the idea of creating a Community Center where the current Volunteer Fire Station sits.
    In October of 2009, the Rodeo Board hosted a wonderful "Wrap-Up" party in the VIP Corral. A fabulous plaque was presented to George Hearst for his generous donation of new, code-compliant steel bleachers in the Grand Stands of the Rodeo Grounds. Linda Rohrer and Tom Hansen presented Rosie  with a donation check of $5000 for the CATCH fund. The little girls and boys of the Creston 4H club donated $300 to the Catch Fund. At least 6 new "cattle brands" were burned into the wall behind the wood bar. Great food, lots of wine, and just another great party for all of the hard-working volunteers. The Ryan family was the Grand Marshall family this year, which was wonderful. As you remember, the rodeo as a fund raiser for CATCH was Nancy's idea back in 1994/1995. We now have somewhere around $106,000 in the fund as of Nov. 2009.
   The 15th Ever Creston Classic Rodeo was a huge success, with many new sponsors donating CASH to help to update the grounds. New footing was installed at the Field Kitchen/ VIP Corral and a donation to the CATCH fund will be announced at the October 28th, 2010, wrap-up Party, held at that kitchen.
   The donation made by the Rodeo for 2010 was a wonderful  $10,000. On December 19, 2010, Eagle Castle Winery - along with the Volunteer Fire Dept of Creston, hosted a fantastic Cowboy Christmas Dinner Dance, which was sold out with over 200 people, plus a very amazing Silent Auction off over 25 valuable items. The desserts were home made by the Women's club and garden club members. It was such a huge success that we hope this will be the first of many more wonderful events to benefit the CATCH fund.
     The CAL  FIRE  station  ground-breaking ceremony took place on  April 20th 2011 at  4 PM at the Rodeo Grounds.  Light refreshments were served and there were speakers talking about plans for the old Volunteer Fire Station. The construction contract was awarded to local SLO company,  Rarig, and construction is humming along during  May 2011, with the building expected to be available for move-in by the Spring of 2012.
     During the spring of 2011, a survey was sent to each group organization that represent the CATCH Board, and the survey wanted to know about designs for the new  Community Building.  A meeting is being held in June of 2011  to discuss the results and plan the layout and the amenities of the new building. This is a very exciting time for the CATCH  fund  board.  Rosie and her board members have been fund raising since  1992 !  That is about 20 years as of  this writing  ( June 2011 ). Many of us have a vision of what this Center should look like.  If you have any ideas,  please contact Rosie at  238-1662.
   posted on Sept. 8, 2011:
        Finally,  there is a web site dedicated to keeping our community informed on what's going on with the development of our soon-to-be-reality  Community Center !  Please bookmark this web page right now so that you can keep up-to-date on  where we are at in this process, which has been twenty years in the making as of today:
      I am delighted that Mike Barrett has created this forum for input, comments, and ideas all about our proposed Community Center, to be located in the space where the Company 43 Volunteer Fire Station has been since 1984.    C H E C K      I T     O U T  !
  Nov. 2011:  The CATCH  Board will once again be hosting a Christmas Dinner Fund Raiser at Eagle Castle Winery off of Hwy 46 West.  Details will be posted on the home page of this site as they become available. The rodeo board hosted their annual  "Rodeo Wrap-Up" party on Oct. 27th and presented the new Queens and presented a donation of a check to the CATCH  FUND.  Finally, there is light at the end of the tunnel. To keep up to date with what's happening with the soon-to-be-reality  Community Center, be sure to check out the relatively new
    Nov. 16, 2011:   Architect Nick Gilman ( who helped with the original  1984  Pole Barn ) has generously donated his time to create a few  different floor plans for our community to check out at the above-mentioned web site.  VOTE  your  choice about the  location of the kitchen.  Our community is so blessed to have the tireless support of so many residents,  especially Mike Barrett, whose new mission in life is to head up the committee that has been researching our sewer, electrical, etc.  options.  So many details to decide. If you see Mike,  please thank him.  Our big fund raiser  Dinner Dance will be held on Dec. 11th at Eagle Castle Winery.  We will need a  lot more funds to make this center happen, and to build the kitchen, and the bathrooms, etc.
      April 6, 2012:   the CAL FIRE station is nearly complete.  Local residents helped to plant lots of shrubs and bushes and trees to landscape the newly built station.  Thank you to everyone who helped on March 24, 2012. We will soon begin the renovation of the Community Center. Thank you to Bruce Berault for helping to design the commercial kitchen.  The drawings/designs are underway by Nick Gilman.  You will see lots of activity in the next few months as the wells and water tanks are upgraded. You can find more at our special web site to follow the progress of this important addition to our community.
   July 2012:   The volunteer fire department #43, Creston,  moves into the brand new CAL FIRE station located about half way from downtown to Hwy 41. It has very nice landscaping and is a beautiful building.
     August  2012:   According to CATCH  Board President, Rosie Hebron,  the lease between the CATCH FUND Board and the  SLO County Bureaucrats has been signed,  insurance for the Center is on the way,  construction may actually begin shortly,  and  the Women's Club is hoping to hold their October 2012 monthly meeting at the Center.  After over 20 years of non-stop fundraising,  the Center is now becoming a reality.  Special thanks to all of the volunteers who had the vision over the past 20 years.  Also, special thanks to Mike Barrett, who is overseeing all of the negotiations with various contractors and the architect and the County for the permits, etc. This has been a huge chunk of his personal time and everyone in the community needs to thank him next time you see him.  He is everywhere !
    Update  early February 2013:    The third annual  Creston CATCH Fund Christmas Dinner Fund Raiser was a huge success. It was held in December 2012 at the former Thoroughbred Stud Farm, Windfall Farm, formerly known as Cardiff Stud Farm ( in the 80's ) and Creston Stud Farm ( in the 90's when "Jeopardy" host, Alex Trebeck owned it ), in the foaling barn, which is a spectacular building.  The profits are donated to the CATCH Fund, and this year, the profit was $5100, which is wonderful.  Dozens of locals helped to host this event. There were some very interesting items in the Silent Auction this year, which brought in over $2000, by the looks of the sheets. Also this year, the Creston Classic Rodeo Board donated $5000 which was generated at the September Rodeo.
     John Katavich is still hard at work revising the original drawings for the Old Firehouse renovation.  There has been much progress over the past year. All of us look forward to the beginning of the construction.
     UPDATE   February  2013:::    I attended a CATCH  Board meeting on Feb. 25, 2013, and am very happy to report that  the  CRESTON  4 H  has become one of the Participating Organizations.   Last fall, our Creston Friends of the Library became a CATCH Board member organization.  Each organization has been asked to host some sort of local fund raiser, with the CATCH fund being the beneficiary.  John K reported that the building plans were resubmitted in December and he is hoping to hear back in the next few weeks.  His biggest effort this month is the "sprinkler" system inside the building. He has also been working on the leach field for the septic tank.  Our community is so blessed to have local trades people willing to donate major time and energy on this project.  The board has voted to progress with the annual  CATCH a CRESTON COWBOY  dinner and silent auction for this coming December. This has been a huge success.   Several Board members were able to acquire, for free, some tables, chairs, and office furniture recently from the  SLO County Surplus department. All of the Board members are constantly hard at work, in addition to their regular jobs.   
UPDATE ( HUGE )   February 2014
      The County of SLO  finally approved the building permit and plans to renovate the  OLD volunteer fire station on Swayze Street, after many many revisions and corrections. The head contractor, John Katavich, of Black Mountain Construction, has been hard at work for the past year, on the sprinkler system, leach field and septic tank, water storage tank, and lining up helpers and the building inspectors.  On Tuesday, February 25th, the concrete slab behind the station was poured, photos taken of the crew, and general merriment at this first, tangible evidence that, in fact, there will indeed be real improvements to this Center!  In fact, the first real "event" was held in December of 2013, when the Garden Club hosted an impressively decorated Christmas Party, attended by over 50 happy pioneers - the first to celebrate great food and great adult beverages in the new Center. The CATCH board met at the beginning of February to discuss important issues, such as office space in the two mobile trailers for the 7 local clubs/ organizations that make up the Board. Exciting times for all of us who have helped to fund raise since 1992 !  The vision is finally becoming a reality.  Look for some sort of "Shovel in the Ground" type of event in 2014.
      UPDATE      October of 2014
            The CATCH  Fund Board came out with a new fund raising scheme in late August:   A metal sculpture of a huge Oak  Tree will be created by metal artist Bruce Hebron.  This tree will have, hopefully, hundreds of engraved leaves, each one engraved with the name of a person, business, or in memory of, possibly in different colors to indicate the donation level. Each household address in Creston was sent a three page packet which included a cover letter, a history of the CATCH fund, and a bright yellow donation form. The levels indicated are $100, $500, $1500, etc, up to $5000 !   In the first two weeks, over $1500 was donated to the Fund. During the summer of 2014, the bathroom addition, which includes a storage room, was completed.  In September, the metal siding and roofing was completed.  As of this moment, the Fund is awaiting more donations to actually purchase the bathroom fixtures, the toilets, sinks, etc. and to put up the dry wall.  A call for volunteer help and for clean fill dirt was sent out. If you would like to donate to the Oak Tree Leaf Scheme, but have lost your donation form, please call Ann at 438-3543, and you will be given a form.  This NEW community Center needs all the help it can get from local residents !  Thanks !
    Update   October 24, 2014
    Last night at the Rodeo Grounds,  the Rodeo Board presented a check to the CATCH Fund for $15,000  !  That is a huge donation and is a direct result of the Board's hard work with the Rodeo this year.  We can thank all of the many sponsors and volunteers for this wonderful donation to CATCH.  Please support all of the sponsors of our beloved Rodeo.  A list is on the Rodeo Web site, which is on my LINKS page.
       Update December 22, 2014
   Lots of activities the past two months regarding both the CATCH Fund, and the construction progress with the NEW Community Center:
     As far as the Fund Raising Scheme called the Live Oak Metal Sculpture that is being constructed to honor the people and businesses that are donating CASH to the CATCH Fund, the following local clubs have donated a minimum of $5000 :   The Creston Garden Cliub, The Women's Club,  The Rodeo Association, and the Volunteer Firefighters Association.  There are now four brass "oval" plaques at the base of the beautiful metal Live Oak Tree Sculpture built by Bruce Hebron, of the Metal Shed. Bruce is a local artist, living here in Creston for decades. The Tree Sculpture was "unveiled" at the December 13th  CATCH a CRESTON   Cowboy Dinner Party, held in the still-under-construction  Community Center, located at  5110 Swayze Street, next to the Community Volunteer Garden, along the back side of the Rodeo Grounds.  There are many "leaves" on the new "Tree", including the Friends of the Creston Library, plus many residents and businesses.  Thank you to everyone who sees the need to support this important community project.
      Regarding a status report on the construction itself,  the electrical contractor spent many weeks this month installing all of the new electrical outlets, the ceiling fans/lighting, and all sorts of other upgrades to the existing Pole Barn/Former Fire Station ( built in 1984 by volunteers).  The insulation for the new addition is now inside the new addition, which includes a large storage room, an ADA-approved Women's and Men's bathroom, plus a nice hallway, where we someday hope to have two, six foot long Coat Racks !   For the two recent Parties held inside the Center, one six foot long Rack was important and was rented.  We are hoping that local volunteers will step up to help install the drywall in the next two months.  The next big phase will include the important overhead sprinkler system, which will be one of the most expensive phases of the entire project. If you have any desire to make a cash donation, please make out your check to "The CATCH Fund" and snail mail it to PO Box 14, CRESTON, CA  93432.  If you would like to volunteer to help out with construction, please call John Katavich at 805-438-3600.  There will be quite a few activities and events at the Center in the next year, so, please keep an eye of the HOME page of this site for the updates in the Calendar of Events section.
       UPDATE  Jan 2015:   The insulation for the "new addition" is going into the framed walls this month, and, hopefully, next month, the "drywall" / sheet rock will close in the walls, and the bathrooms completed.  The CATCH Board has applied for Quimby Funds from the SLO County Parks and Rec Dept.  If this happens,  the award will take place in March or April and will allow the outside parking lot and safety lighting and the Fire Suppression System  ( read:  sprinklers inside the building ) to begin construction this summer. The  Creston Women's Club hopes to host the Wildflower Bike Ride's  "spaghetti feed" to take place at the Center this April ! We are hoping that the bathrooms will be completed by the end of March.

             UPDATE  June 2015 ::  The drywall has been installed inside the new Center in both the New Addition/Bathrooms and the common wall -  this is a huge step !  Soon,  we hope to install the "Fire Suppression System"  (read:  overhead sprinklers ).   A HUGE THANK YOU  to the County Board of Supervisors for approving a Quimby Fund County Grant of $70,000 - donated to our beloved  CATCH Fund ! Special thanks to Supervisor Debbie Arnold for fast tracking our Fund application, and to Rosie Hebron and Donna Giubbini for completed the lengthy forms to apply for the Grant. We need all the help we can get from any and all sources to complete the bathroom flooring, toilets, fixtures, etc.  If you know of anyone who can help as a Grant Writer, please contact Rosie at 238-1662.
         UPDATE  August 2015 ::  The floors are in -  the fire sprinkler system is in. Soon, the bathroom walls will be painted and the fixtures will be installed !  Cash donations to continue this work are always appreciated.
         UPDATE October 2015 ::  All the new walls, and some of the old walls, have been painted by a crew of local contractors.  The toilets are in and the CATCH Board has announced the date for the annual fund raiser called the "CATCH a Creston Cowboy"  Dinner, being held this year on Dec. 19th at the Center. Many of the members of the Women's Club are soliciting donations for the Silent Auction.
      There is still a huge need for more funds to continue the improvements. The most expensive phase of the renovation is now installed:  the overhead sprinkler system and pump house construction. The Board is still trying to find a Grant Writer. CATCH Board President this year is Audrey Beatty. If you can help in any way, please contact her at 237-1800.
    UPDATE  November 2015 ::   The bathrooms are nearly completed !  That is a really good thing, because two huge Christmas parties are happening Dec  17th ( Garden Club ) and Dec  20th  ( CATCH Fund Dinner Party ! ) !!
There are still lots of improvements needed as we move on to "Phase Two", which, hopefully will include some Heating and Air Conditioning equipment ! If you know of a good Grant Writer, please let Audrey know !
    UPDATE  January  2016 ::  The pump house is now complete.  The bathrooms are now complete.  The two big parties held inside the Center during the Christmas holidays were fabulous. The two groups hosting the two parties shared the expense of renting a heater and a coat rack. Wine Glasses were rented by one group. The next phase of construction will see the Fire Suppression system ( sprinklers in the ceiling of all the rooms) will be installed, involving two new water storage tanks. The County has granted Quimby Funds to the CATCH Fund to continue with this installation. The parking lot area will be busy with contractors. The Garden Club is always working to upgrade the look of the BBQ and Horse shoe pit areas. The fruit trees around the parking lot area are thriving and may produce some fruit in the next few years. The irrigation system for the Volunteer Garden has been upgraded with in line filters to keep sand and debris out of the drip line system. The CATCH FUND is always needing cash donations to continue the work on the Center.
   Update::  December 2016::  Thank the Lord - several of the newer fruit trees produced fruit this summer ! After the April plant sale, Sheila and Melenie planted eight new trees along a straight line from the existing fruit tree area towards the Creek ( Huer Huero River ). Six are heirloom Apple trees and two are Plum trees. Sadly, the only well that supplied water to the Garden and the Center failed and went dry in April, unbeknownst to anyone. Finally, we noticed that the plants were severely stressed during the very warm month of May, and all the leaves on one apple tree dried up and fell off ! Several locals took to hand watering, and Noah Small generously donated two large plastic totes with 250 gallons each so watering could take place. Best of all, in late June, early July, Filliponni and Thompson donated a brand new well, next to the old well, and hooked up to existing plumbing, and Mr. Lyons reconstructed the irrigation system, and by August, all was perfect in our beloved Garden. The Club is getting a jump on potting up plants/seeds/cuttings for the April Plant sale during this fall and winter, and Las Pilitas Nursery donated a huge pile of potting soil for us.  THANK  YOU  TO THESE GENEROUS PEOPLE AND BUSINESSES  !   We couldn't SAVE  our Garden without your help.
       Update::  April  2017   :::  A blue flier was mailed out to everyone with a 93432 Zip code, which detailed a summary of the work completed in the last 5 years on our beloved Center. The CATCH Fund has a list in this flier of items needed - donations PLEASE ! - for the following ::
                         1.  10 yards of clean fill dirt
                         2. ADA Accessible sidewalks to the rear and west of building
                         3. a utility sink for the Store Room ( plumbing is in )
                         4. painting of the interior and exterior
                         5. sky lights / roof repair
                         6. worktop cabinets and storage cabinets
                         7. storage units for the 17 tables owned by the Fire Department

If you have any of these,  please  email Rosie  at  or call her at 805-610-0220.
        Building Code regulations require the overhead Sprinkler system - still in need of a metal storage tank and Pump. Still needed to complete this aspect is $20,000 for final materials and labor.  If you can help financially by making a CASH  Donation, please make check payable to CATCH FUND,  and mail to CATCH,  PO Box 14, Creston, 93432.
    For more info on anything related to the Center, call Rosie at 805-610-0220.  The Federal ID # for tax deductible donations is   #59-3839276.
    All donations of $100 or more entitles you to a real, metal leaf on their Giving Tree Sculpture located inside the building. There are already 25 - 30 "Leaves" on this Oak Tree. Contact me if you need a copy of the Form showing a photo of the Oak Tree Sculpture. I have a leaf on this "tree" !
     Update January 2018 :: The CATCH Fund Board wishes to thank the following folks who have so generously assisted the remodeling of the old Fire House into the Community Center:
  Black Mountain Construction, The Metal Shed, Ken Bundy Well Service, Sheila and David Lyons, Noah Small, Fillipponi & Thompson Well Drilling, The Creston Garden Club, Rob Reynolds Construction, Greg Wiemann Construction, Jerry Bello, Bruce Hebron, Bob Cazier, Shane Heilmann, Audrey Beatty, and Paula Frojae.  As of this month, the permit process is now complete, and the paper work has been signed off. The Sprinkler System for Fire Suppression has been signed off.  The CATCH Fund Dinner fund raiser held in December was a huge success with over 80 tickets sold. Some sound absorbing grey panels have been installed. The bathrooms are finished. New walkways and handicapped access with blue painted lines have been installed. The outside back area has been leveled with new dirt brought in and the parking area cleaned up. The Garden Club planted a long row of apple and plum trees against the fence that separates the Rodeo Grounds from the Center grounds. The Community Volunteer Garden looks great and has been improved over the years. Congratulations to everyone involved with this enormous project.
   HUGE  UPDATE:  June 2018  ::  check out the new metal artwork attached to the west side of the Community Center -  it is a lovely tree, crafted by local artist, Mr. Twisselman.  The community is so lucky that one local resident, Jennifer, applied for a large $$grant to beautify and upgrade the outside of the Center, including a  COVERED PATIO  !  Drive by to see all the new improvements.  Furthermore, I am told that the FINAL  INSPECTION  AND  PERMIT APPROVAL  happened this past November !  Exactly five years from the initial application. The bathrooms are now complete.  A few locals purchased sound deadening panels for part of the interior. Lots of new concrete walkways and handicapped parking -  it is extremely impressive what has been accomplished to the dedicated 25 -30 locals who created this important resource for our beloved Creston. Congratulations to the Garden Club leaders who oversaw the placement of fantastic benches and concrete planters facing the Garden.  Our community is blessed with these forward - thinking residents who know how to achieve our common goals. Some day in the future, we will finally see the "Grand Opening" Celebration.
   Update  late  2018::   Huge congratulations to grant writer and friend of Creston Mrs. Jennifer Best, who was able to win a grant for over $13,000 to make improvements to our beloved Center !  Three cheers !
    HUGE update: July 2019 :  What is new at the Community Center ?  A  25' by 50'  patio cover made of steel which shades the side of the building closest to the Community Volunteer Garden ! Sheila Lyons applied for, and won, a wonderful grant ( over $16,000 ), plus a $5000 donation from the Creston Classic Rodeo Board, is funding this amazing addition to our Center.  This new patio will seat an additional 70 - 80 folks at our fund raisers !  And our weddings, parties, etc.  The Center is being used by locals and clubs all the time.  Check it out !  Amazing opportunities await !
    Update  December  2019::  the concrete patio has been poured and is curing right this second !  The amazing addition to our beloved Center adds about 50 - 70 more spots for seating and is completely covered. If you get a chance anytime - ever - please drive down Swayze Street and see it for yourself !!
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