Dream of Creston Community Center turns into a reality

By: Sheila Lyons, CATCH Secretary

CRESTON—Thanks to the hard of the Creston Community, the generosity of The Community Foundation of San Luis Obispo County, and their BUILD Grant program, the Creston Activities Town Center Helping-Hands (CATCH) is transforming the Creston Community Center (CCC) into the facility envisioned by locals since 1994.

The CATCH organization was established in 1994 by local Crestonites, such as Rosie Hebron, CATCH Chairperson, with the dream of one day having a community center. The organization is made up of nine local clubs and organizations, including the Creston Classic Rodeo, Creston Volunteer Garden Club, the Women’s Club, 4-H, Creston Advisory Body, Men’s Club, Friends of the Library, Creston Community Association, and the Creston Volunteer Firefighters. 

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Creston Residents: L to R: Sheila Lyons, Donna Clark, Rosie Hebron, Beth Wray, Melenie Ristow and Anita Black.

Their goal was to have a functioning community center available to all the locals for holding a wide variety of Creston events. Unfortunately, no facility was available within 11 miles of Creston for such a purpose. Where and when this dream could be realized was yet to be determined.

When new Fire Station #50 was built in Creston in 2012, the old Volunteer Fire Station became available for lease. CATCH saw their chance and jumped on it. Since acquiring the lease in 2012, CATCH volunteers have been transforming the former fire engine garage/pole barn into a functioning code-compliant building for use by the community. This has been done with finances provided by local fundraisers held by the CATCH organizations, donations from Creston residents and businesses, and most recently through grants acquired by the writing of grant applications to multiple donor organizations by the CATCH Secretary, Sheila Lyons, a retired scientist with experience in writing grants. 

CATCH has completed many projects to improve the building, including ADA-compliant bathrooms and a space for a fully functioning kitchen in the future. The building has also undergone a complete electrical upgrade, new epoxy flooring, a new covered patio, exterior beautification with planters, signage, and a commercial roll-up garage door behind which houses the vintage fire truck (#43), a part of Creston’s history. 

The most recent renovation achievement has been to add a commercial double man door entrance to the front façade funded with a generous BUILD Grant of $10,000 provided by The Community Foundation of San Luis Obispo County and funds CATCH had previously raised. 

“This has been our crowning achievement to date,” said Sheila Lyons, “Giving the building a much more finished look, like a true community building with a defined and welcoming entry.” 

Rosie Hebron enthusiastically commented, “The new, improved façade dresses up our Community Center. We would never have been able to do it without the philanthropic organizations like The Community Foundation of San Luis Obispo County.” 

CATCH would like folks to know that the new facility is not only available for the CATCH member organization’s use but also by anyone interested in renting it for private events. For example, this spring, it will be the base for the SLO County Bike Club Annual Wildflower Ride. 

For more information, visit crestonnews.org, or for reservations on the center, contact Rosie at 805-610-0220.