Tiny Creston, with a population of about 100, doesn’t get much attention from the rest of San Luis Obispo County, but the residents take care of themselves.
“We get lost in the shuffle,” said Rosie Hebron, a resident since 1982. “But we band together and look after ourselves.”
A retired police officer from Los Angeles and Atascadero, Hebron is president of the Creston Women’s Club, which provides scholarships to local youth as well as adults looking to re-enter higher education.
“In the last 20 years, we’ve given out more than $80,000 in scholarships to local people,” she said. “That’s a lot of cookies to bake.”
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Historically, the residents have been self-sufficient, building their own school house in the 1880s, a community pool in the 1960s and a volunteer firehouse in the 1980s.
In 1993, all of Creston’s community groups joined together to create Creston Activities Town Center Helping Hand, with the goal of building a community center and establishing the Creston Classic Rodeo as the main fundraiser.
The former Cal Fire station on Swayze Street was leased for the community center in 2012, and the organization has been renovating and expanding it, using $160,000 it raised through the rodeo, donations and by selling pies, spaghetti dinners and — of course — cookies. A Quimby Fund County Grant of $70,000 came through, and the community center is finally expected to be finished this year, said Hebron, board chairwoman of CATCH.
“We’re a small place with a long history, and we take care of ourselves,” Hebron said. “We’ve dreamed about this for decades and now, because of everyone’s help, it’s coming true.”