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Nelson County Couple Opens Shop

Anna and Tommy Williams, both natives of Nelson County and now living with their two daughters in Shipman, had dreamed for years about running their own business. When they started renovating their building (in Colleen) in 2015, and opened their doors last year, their dreams became reality. Olde Southern Charm was up and running.

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Nelson Eye Center Has Joined Harmon Eye Center

Lovingston, VA –Robert M. Krym, O.D., of Nelson Eye Center has joined Harman Eye Center and will provide primary optometric care to patients at his current location at 356 Front Street. In addition, patients will have access to the services of David M. Harman, M.D., Landon Colling, M.D. and Brian Conway, M.D.. For your convenience and eye care needs the Harman Eye Center of Lovingston has an optical shop and accepts most insurance and vision plans.

Established in 1988, Harman Eye Center is committed to providing quality eye care and excellent service to every patient. Harman Eye Center has locations throughout the region to serve their patients including: Amherst, Appomattox, Danville, Forest, Lynchburg, Martinsville and Wyndhurst. The Harman Eye Center team of eye care professionals is led by David M. Harman, M.D., who has performed more than 30,000 cataract surgeries, including the highly advanced VICTUS laser cataract procedure. He has also performed more than 6,750 refractive surgeries as well as thousands of laser surgeries to treat conditions such as glaucoma, diabetes and secondary cataracts.

The Rockfish Valley Community Center—Taking it to the Next Level

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 take-out café, 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 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.

Vets Dreams Come True

For both of the veterinarians at the Rockfish Valley Veterinary Clinic in Nellysford, the creation and founding of the new RVVC has been a dream come true.

Though they were friends as well as fellow veterinarians, the two doctors had never worked at the same clinic. Dr. Z L. Klein had practiced veterinary medicine for more than three decades of veterinary work while Nicole Driver was still pursuing her doctoral degree through Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech, receiving her mantle in 2011.

It was because of that Dr. Klein made a vow they would work together – yet there was a time when that prediction seemed as if it might not work out. Dr. Klein retired at about the same time Dr. Driver graduated, and so she went to work in the Ashland area for four years.

But when they discovered that the veterinary clinic in Nellysford was up for sale in early 2015 they were delighted that their dream was within their grasp.

“The opportunity to work with Dr. Driver was just too good to pass up,” Dr. Klein said.

“One of the wonderful things about having two experienced doctors,” said Kathy Driver, office manager at RVVC, “is that we have a deep well of talent to serve our patients.” Dr. Klein was one of Virginia’s first to use the laser for soft-tissue surgeries, and Dr. Driver has a special interest in orthopedic procedures.

Though Dr. Driver was glad the existing site had served as a veterinary clinic in the past, she emphasized that things have really progressed since then.

“We’ve added so much to the clinic,” she said. Besides a new surgical laser, there is now an all new clinic laboratory station capable of giving us real-time answers to pets’ medical conditions.

“We love our new home here,” Ms. Driver said. “We have two really nice examination rooms. The clinic is clean, wide open, spacious, and our assistants love our patients.

Though the clinic has seen patients as diverse as hamsters and guinea pigs, the emphasis will always be on cats and dogs, providing both diagnostic as well as preventative care.

This page each year features a different Nelson County based non-profit, volunteer-dependent organization. To have your organization considered for this page next year, e-mail Dan Curran at Dan@AllAmericanPub.net.