Posted by Timothy FitzGerald on Mar 05, 2018
Rotarian John Vallee eagerly reaches for the microphone to thank Eric Haverkamp, Board Chair of "Church Out Serving" for bringing us up to speed on the recent acquisition, renovations and community programmes that will be based out of their building Sydenham Street (known to locals as the former LCBO). 
Rotarian John Valle thanks Eric Haverkamp, Board Chair of
We held our regular Club meeting in their building in downtown Simcoe. The building and projects are called Riversyde 83
Talk about speed! Seven churches did a study of the town to determine how they could fill the gaps. Eric said it was a good report and they vowed to not let it just collect dust. Next they pulled resources together, other churches and bought the vacated building. Virginia Lucas, Treasurer/Director and Eric guided us through the finances. The renovations will be $725,000 and fundraising has already achieved the $400,000 mark. One patron has donated the mortgage payments for the first ten years. The initiative  is here to stay.
Illustration of Riversyde 83
Illustration of Riversyde 83
As I walked into the building, I was surprised at the immensity of the space. With the former shelving and partitions removed, one sees a  polymetric building, open air with unlimited design possibilities - see proposed layout below.
Floor Plan
The layout - a meeting room for 25 people, a lounge area for 5 people, office space to rent for a start up business, a teaching and eating area for 60 people, a marketplace for local artisans/farm produce, space to rent for an anniversary party or the like, a prayer based room in which to search spirituality, focus on wellness and local community.
Riversyde 83 is an investment into our sense of community, its residents, wellness and kindness. In the registered kitchen people will prepare and cook local foods/produce and leave with marketable skills. 
The kitchen, cafe and meeting room rentals are also to generate an income to make Riversysde 83 self sustaining.
Thank you Eric, Virginia and Church Out Serving.