Vet’s Hall under RCCS management and looking for suggestions
In August the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors voted to turn over management of four veterans buildings to non-profits, a move expected to save the county hundreds of thousands of dollars. With River to Coast Children’s Services being chosen. The group was awarded a 15-year lease agreement and will be reimbursed in an amount not to exceed $75,000 over the first two years for start-up costs and kitchen upgrades.
A forum was was held the On the evening of Thursday November 1, at Guerneville’s Vet’s Memorial hall for the purpose of introducing the community to it’s new managers, River to Coast Children’s Services, and to seek input from the community about how the facility may best be used by the community. Jynx Lopez, Executive Director of RCCS also spoke briefly about how RCCS serves the west county.
Founded in 1976, RCCS., is currently celebrating 35 years of service to west Sonoma County children and their families, providing an emergency food pantry, diapers, infant formula, car safety seats, emergency meds and a variety of referral and support services.
Some 35 people attended the gathering which was chaired by David Cameron who is the program manager for the Vet’s Hall, and who worked for the last two years as manager of River Lane Resort, on Guerneville’s First Street, across the street from River to Coast Children’s Services’ offices.
Cameron spoke about making the Vet’s Hall a successful “active and vibrant” facility with plans to renovate it and to convert the kitchen into a “full commercial kitchen” using county funds to do so. In answer to a question by KGGV radio show host and teacher Darlene Kersnar, Cameron explained that use of all the Vet’s building’s rooms, including the kitchen, the conference room and the club room would all be available for use. There’s a basement but it was badly damaged during the February, 1986 flood and never repaired.
Cameron said “public involvement” was needed and asked for suggestions for programs and events, noting that getting “people through the door”
was of great importance in order that the potentially versatile multi- use facility not be wasted for lack of use. The charge for usage, said Cameron, will be substantially less than when it was under management of State Parks.
Possible uses suggested were a convention hall, a teen center, a tool library and a venue for live music that’s considerably larger that
those which are currently available. He also mentioned use as a
“share exchange co-work space” for small businesses. Cameron also mentioned a scheduled Hogmanay Hootenany on December 31, explaining Hogmanay was the Scottish word for New Years Eve.
The attendees were asked to fill out available suggestion cards and some of the ideas were art, exercise and a clothing exchange for school-age children. Dance classes, a concert hall, movie theater and gathering place for teens and occasionally, a dog and cat adoption center were also suggested. To see all the suggestions that were submitted by those in attendance, see “comments” below this post and please consider making suggestions of your own.
Kayte Guglielmino of the River C. of C. spoke about past uses which included a meeting place for girl scouts, tap dance and ballet lessons, and a dance marathon which she might have won had not her partner fallen asleep. She also mentioned her mother took exercise classes there.
Cameron encouraged input and suggestions from anyone and everyone and stated that his door at his RCCS office is always open . His phone number is 604-7725 and he may also be reached at email@example.com
and at www.rccservices.org.