ROCKFISH VALLEY COMMUNITY CENTER
The Rockfish Valley Community Center had its beginnings like all community endeavors - with a group of involved citizens who rallied around a cause, a possibility, a dream. The vacant old school building--built in 1939--stood awaiting its next incarnation, the children having left it for a modern new building up the road. In the winter of 1999, a group of local citizens met in the new school to discuss the possibility of using the old building as a Community Center. The core group sat huddled in kiddie chairs in the old building’s cold, unlit auditorium, wondering how to proceed.
Over the next few months, a board of directors was formed, the organization was incorporated, and eventually granted status as a membership-based 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. And thus began the daunting task of reclaiming the building and grounds, developing programming and events, and figuring out some way to keep it all afloat. The core group’s original intention to preserve the historic building that had been at the heart of the childhood memories of so many Nelson residents, and to turn it into a place that could be the heart of so many new experiences, became the driving force behind what is now the most vibrant Community Center in the county.
RVCC’s Mission Statement:
“The purpose of the Center is to provide, on a non-profit basis, a facility for cultural, recreational, social and educational activities for the residents of the Rockfish Valley, the residents of Nelson County, Virginia and the surrounding area. The Center encourages activities promoting and providing opportunities for residents to experience physical, social, intellectual and cultural growth and development. To that end, a broad spectrum of activities may be available, responsive to demand evidenced through member and other resident requests and evidenced by support through participation and volunteer commitment.”
The many ways in which RVCC fulfills this mission are difficult to capture in a few words. Rooms that once were classrooms now house artisan studios, retail shops, art galleries, offices, fitness and Yoga studios, a coffee shop, a hair & nail salon, the Treasure Chest Thrift Store, a commercial kitchen, and Rockfish University. The grounds serve as the county’s de facto public park, offering a basketball court, baseball field, skate ramp, playground, soccer field, the Mallory Creek Walking Trail and Wildflower Meadow, and the Blue Mountain Pavilion—all available for the community’s use and enjoyment. RVCC regularly offers live music performances, community pancake breakfasts, art exhibits, indoor community markets, and outdoor summer festivals. The RVCC building and grounds are also available for both private and public events, such as fundraisers, weddings, parties, classes, workshops, seminars, theater performances, and pretty much anything else one can imagine.
RVCC: the Center of our community; by our community; for our community.
RVCC has come a long way since that first cold, uncertain meeting of a few passionate citizens back in 1999—and that passion has made this Community Center what it is today. The Center is not funded by county government as most assume. Instead, it is held together by amazing volunteer efforts both large and small, membership dues and donations, the revenue generated by rental income and sales at the Treasure Chest Thrift Store, programming grants from local foundations, and public fundraising efforts. It takes a community to maintain and grow this Community Center.
If you haven’t visited recently, go spend a little time there. Take a walk through the wildflower meadow, get some folks together for a game on the newly-renovated court and fields, have lunch and get coffee and do a little shopping. Check out all the classes and events, and take a moment to think about how much the Center enhances Nelson County. It’s the place for the next fun party you hold or attend, the place for the next class you take or teach, the place for the next connection with friends and family. It is the place where community happens.
The single best way to get involved is by becoming a member - joining RVCC either as a personal member or as an organizational member of the RVCC Business Council. Multiple levels of memberships are available, with wonderful benefits packages.
To see a complete listing of classes, events, businesses, and services, or to learn more about joining, donating or volunteering, visit www.rockfishcc.org. Or visit RVCC in person at 190 Rockfish School Ln, Afton.
To learn more about whats happening at RVCC, see the May Newsletter here