Fun Friday Dance Benefits ECHO!

What can you do on a warm spring evening – Dance! Sunny Country and DJ Jerry Craig present “Hoedown Throwdown in A-Town!” It’s a fun evening for the whole family with music, dancing, raffle prizes, food & dessert. It’s also non-alcoholic so it’s a great event for kids of all ages! Part of the proceeds benefit ECHO!

It’s Friday, May 8, 7-11p.m. at the Kiwanis Club in Atascadero Lake Park. Tickets at the door or online at – $10 adults, $5 kids 10 and under.

Ticketleap link:

Barn Dance Flyer-1

$5,000 from Give Fitness Health Club

ECHO received a $5,000 donation from Give Fitness Health Club in Atascadero.

We thank Give Fitness Health Club ( for this generous donation. Give Fitness Health Club is located in the VONS shopping center on El Camino and Highway 41. This North County business has the goal of donating 50% of its profits back to the community! Give Fitness also donated $5,000 to Parents for Joy, a local group raising funds to build a special needs playground in Atascadero.

GiveFitnessLeft to right in the picture; Josh Donovan, Give Fitness owner, Terri Sherwin, ECHO board member, Till Moen, ECHO Vice-President, Mike and Charlotte Byrne, ECHO board members, Robin Smith, ECHO volunteer, and Matthew Holguin, owner of Working to Give.

Give Fitness Health Club is not only a great place to work out, but also a wonderful business committed to its community. Josh Donovan, owner of Give Fitness, is a local Atascadero resident with over 10 years in the fitness industry. Josh partnered with Matthew Holguin and Working to Give to open a reasonably priced state of the art gym that also has a mission to give back 50% of profits to the community. Matthew Holguin started Working to Give while completing his MBD at Azusa Pacifica University in 2005. It was his intention to create a company that was purpose driven rather than profit driven.

Give Fitness is a partner with GIVE – Working to Give which made it possible to bring a state of the art workout facility to downtown Atascadero in addition to significant financial support for the community. Matt Holguin (Working to Give) and Josh Donovan (Give Fitness) both currently live in Atascadero and are excited to bring this model of giving to their community. Matthew Holguin began Working to Give with the intention for the company to be purpose driven rather than profit driven. Learn more at


Jodi Block, Terri Sherwin, ECHO board members, Liz Enriquez-Phillips (with her son, Walter) ECHO Shelter Coordinator, Linda Doust, ECHO secretary, Tina Salter, ECHO board member with her husband, Jay.

Bill_JoshECHO Executive Director Bill Watt with Give Fitness Owner Josh Donovan


$28,720 from City of Paso Robles

paso-city-sealThe Paso Robles City Council last week awarded $28,720 to ECHO to assist with operational expenses. We thank the Paso Robles City Council for granting this portion of federal Community Development Block Grant funds to help fund North County’s only homeless shelter.

Read more at the Paso Robles Daily News

ECHO Playground Celebration


On Saturday, January 31, ECHO, El Camino Homeless Organization, celebrated the opening of their new playground. Atascadero Kiwanis raised $23,500 to pay for the playground and Doug Lapp, Central Coast Park and Recreation Company, donated his time to design and install the equipment. The playground is designed for children 2 to 5 years old and consists of swings, a climbing structure and a bright yellow duck mounted on a steel spring. “We are so thankful for the Kiwanis, Doug Lapp and all the other volunteers who made this possible,” said Charlotte Byrne, ECHO board member and longtime volunteer. “At ECHO, we strive to make the atmosphere as pleasant and nurturing as possible for the children. This playground allows them to have some quality time with their parents. “ According to Executive Director Bill Watt, the face of homelessness includes children. “Right now we have 18 children at ECHO. On a regular basis we have families with babies to teenagers, and they come from all over North County.”

Terri Sherwin, ECHO board member and fundraising volunteer said that the playground would not have happened without the Kiwanis donation. “Our fundraising committee has to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to operate ECHO and make the services possible to get homeless individuals and families back home,” she said. “ Many people in the community believe that we receive most of our operating dollars from the government. That’s not true. We raise more than 75% of our budget from local donations large and small. We just don’t have the fundraising capacity to pay for a playground. So we are ecstatic that the Atascadero Kiwanis took this on.”

ECHO Playground Celebration

Landscaping Collaboration!

After two years of design and coordination, ECHO’s landscaping took root on Saturday, January 26, in Atascadero. Armed with shovels, picks, and wheelbarrows, more than 40 volunteers from Madrone Landscapes and Cal Poly planted 200+ trees, shrubs, and ground covers at ECHO, El Camino Homeless Organization. ECHO is a 50-bed homeless shelter serving north San Luis Obispo County. “We have accomplished some major renovations at the shelter over the last few years and this landscaping is a part of that effort,” said Jim Patterson, ECHO Board President. “We especially appreciate Rick Mathews at Madrone Landscapes and Cal Poly Professor Christy O’Hara for helping make this happen.”

A few years ago, Professor O’Hara was looking for a community project for her Cal Poly landscape architecture students and ECHO was a good fit. “The students spent many hours studying the micro-climate surrounding the shelter to make smart planting choices that included many native varieties,” said O’Hara. “The students also felt strongly about creating an area with lots of shade trees that would be a quiet and peaceful place for people who come to ECHO.” The landscape design also incorporated a fruit orchard and vegetable garden. “With this much land in the plan, and it’s a homeless shelter that also provides food, it just made sense to include a fruit orchard and gardening beds,” O’Hara explained.

After the ECHO board of directors approved the Cal Poly design plan, Madrone Landscapes offered to help with the project. “A design plan this large has an extensive irrigation system,” said Jim Patterson. “Madrone employees donated their time to dig all the trenches and install the system. Much of the irrigation material was donated or discounted by Farm Supply Company. It was a big job and we’re very thankful.” Madrone Landscapes, Bay Laurel Nursery, West Covina Wholesale Nursery, Native Sons Wholesale Nursery and Growing Grounds Farm donated more than half of the 200 plants needed to implement the plan. Rossi Transport donated the planting mix.

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