Takin’ Care of Business 6-29-2023

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Written by Theresa-Marie Wilson

Theresa-Maria Wilson has been a journalist covering the North Coast and South County area for over 20 years. She is also the founder of Cat Noir CC and is currently working on a novel.

June 29, 2023

Artists Wanted for Cambria Art & Wine Festival

The Cambria Chamber of Commerce’s Twentieth Annual Cambria Art & Wine Festival 2024 is approaching, and work is wanted for the featured art competition by August 1.

They are looking for two pieces this year to feature in promotional posters, social media posts, and to display at the event. 

“We would like a painting, and either a sculpture, mosaic, ceramic, textile, or other piece that represents the festival,” said Chamber Executive Director Lorienne Schwenk. 

The winner receives:

• $300 cash prize

• A bottle of wine and two souvenir event wine glasses

• Two party package event tickets (a $250 value)

• Opportunity to sell other works throughout the festival

The winners will be featured at the event in marketing elements will also have an opportunity to speak about their work at the kick-off party.

There is a form to fill out when submitting your creation, call the Chamber at 805-927-3624 or get the information at https://bit.ly/3NEN01P. The Chamber office is located at 767 Main St. in Cambria.

Literacy for Life Receives Largest Donation Ever 

Funds to help adults throughout SLO County learn to read and write got a boost that will last for years to come.

Literacy for Life recently announced the single largest donation in the organization’s history. An estate gift of $180,000 was left by longtime community member James “Jim” Sargen, who passed away on October 2, 2021.

“We are so grateful to the Sargen family for their longtime commitment to our community,” said Literacy for Life CEO Bernadette Bernardi. “Jim was always very supportive and an advocate for adult literacy, but we didn’t know he had included us in his estate planning. A donation of this size can cover the cost of tutor training, books, materials, and administrative oversight for 200 people over the next two years.”

This donation coincides with a change in Literacy for Life’s funding. After 41 years, their partnership with the SLO City/County Library will end, meaning the organization will lose their state library funding for adult literacy, family literacy and ESL programs. “We are going to be more reliant on private donations in addition to federal and local grants,” Bernardi explained. “Jim’s bequest gives us a strong foundation for our programs moving forward.”

Literacy for life has provided services to empower adults in San Luis Obispo County to learn to read, write, and speak English since 1982.

“There are successes every day at Literacy for Life’s eight learning centers, where people’s lives are changed by their learning to read and write English,” officials said. “From someone being able to text in English for the first time in our digital society or being able to read a book to their child, to someone getting promoted at their workplace because they can better communicate in English. One such inspiring story is the recent journey of a women from Ukraine who worked tirelessly to learn to read and write English, then obtained her real estate license and can make a living and support her family. Numerous other students have reached their personal goals through perseverance and hard work, resulting in an improved quality of life.”

To find out more about Literacy for Life services and programs or to donate, go to literacyforlifeslo.org or call (805) 541-4219.

Cal Poly Cat Program Urgently Needs Summer Volunteers

The Cal Poly Cat Program is in dire need of volunteers to keep operating at full speed through the summer. 

During summer quarter, the majority of Cal Poly’s students leave the area to return to their places of permanent residence or to take part in internships, international travel, or other activities outside the area. This leaves the Cal Poly Cat Program in need of volunteers. 

“Our volunteers are the rock and the heart of our organization, and we treasure each and every one for their dedication to our feline friends,” said Dana K. Humphreys, a community volunteer with the cat program. 

This year, the need is particularly stark, with so few volunteers signing up that the program currently lacks the people power to maintain the health and wellbeing of its cats.

“Since 1992 we have provided shelter, medical treatments, and unconditional love to countless homeless cats & kittens; working diligently to find them new homes,” Humphreys said. “We are absolutely crushed at the thought of not being able to fully maintain our mission. The staff and our devoted volunteers are using every tool to recruit new volunteers. We are desperately looking for community members to come to our aid.”  

To become a volunteer contact volunteercpcp@gmail.com.   

The Cal Poly Cat Program was started as a senior project to solve the problem of a rising cat population on campus. Feral cats were trapped as an attempt to decrease the cat population, yet it did not alleviate the problem. The solution was modeled on the “Trap, Test, Vaccinate, Medicate, Alter, and Release” (TTVMAR) technique, developed by the National Feral Cat Resource Center.

A second senior project resulted in an adoption program in which students domesticated feral cats and found good homes for them.

The Cal Poly Cat Program is a non-profit 501(c)(3) cat rescue and sanctuary run by student, employee, and community volunteers who care about the health and happiness of feral and domesticated cats. The program operates a Trap, Neuter and Release program to responsibly maintain the local feral cat population as well as an adoption program that has placed more than 3,000 cats and kittens into caring homes. For more information, go to https://www.calpolycatprogram.org/. 

Are you or a neighbor Taking Care of Business. Is your business, including non-profits, supporting our community? Maybe you’re launching a new business, or you’re making updates to your current business model, or re-opening. Perhaps you have a job opportunity, or have been doing some volunteer work, or are collaborating with another business or a non-profit. Or maybe you know someone who is. Submit your awesome local efforts for publication to Editor@EsteroBayNews.com.

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