Scarecrow Festival volunteers sharing work and fun.

The scarecrows have made their appearance once more, and another year’s Festival is now going full-bore, attracting visitors and amusing locals throughout October.

     Did you ever wonder how the Cambria Scarecrow Festival happens?  Or what it takes to put on Pinedorado Days?  Or to bring dozens of films to the Cambria Film Festival?  Or keep invasive weeds from taking over the Fiscalini Ranch?     It takes volunteers.  So much of what makes Cambria special is a direct result of volunteers.  From caring for cats at HART to educating visitors about elephant seals to preserving green space, it is all about local nonprofits and the people who volunteer at them.

     Right now, these groups are recruiting new volunteers to help them achieve their respective missions.  Many of them are seeking people to serve on a Board of Directors—as well as to help with specialized needs in areas like technology, marketing, and fundraising.     If you have time and interest, check out the possibilities.

     Paulla Ufferheide is the president of the Cambria Scarecrow Festival. “We are always looking for people to help out in two very distinct areas,” she says. “The first is a creative need to help us conceive and build scarecrows, and this activity goes on all year long.  But we also need people with skills in marketing and organization.  Soon we will be electing our Board for 2022 and would love to see new people become involved.”  After 13 years, the Festival is always seeking fresh ideas and talents.

     Mari Fedrow, the president of the Cambria Center for the Arts, says she has a very similar goal.  “Our nonprofit runs a gallery, live theater, and the annual Cambria Film Festival. Our new board is elected at the end of October. Right now, we’re looking for people interested in getting involved with local arts.  We’d love to talk to you more about how you can help—especially if you might want to be part of our Board.”  Currently, the Center is undertaking a campaign to upgrade many of its facilities.

     The Lions Club of Cambria is the sponsor of the annual Pinedorado Days, the youth music program ArtBeat, and many other local programs and activities.  John Nixon, Board Secretary for the organization, says, “We always are open to new members and volunteers becoming involved.  A good way to learn about the Club is to attend one of our meetings, held the second and fourth Tuesday of each month beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Jocelyn Center.”

     Typically, every local nonprofit has a board of directors.  This group helps sets policy and goals, as well as provide oversight and direction for the group.  Because the interests and time availability of officers and board members often change, frequently there is a need to involve new volunteers in leadership roles.  Anyone who is  looking to get involved should not hesitate.  Contact an organization that aligns with your interests and see what opportunities exist. Most nonprofits have a contact link or volunteer link on their website or through their Facebook page.  To find out more about the organizations in the community, do Do a Google search on “volunteer opportunities in Cambria.”  You can also find a list of most of the local nonprofits at: