Our History…at a Glance

Located on a scenic bend on the Androscoggin River, Sifu Vincent J. Atripaldi opened the first Riverview doors on eleven beautiful acres of land in January of 1989. Being a student of the martial arts since 1963 and a teacher of the martial way for almost two decades, led Riverview’s founder to follow his lifelong passion. The stage was set for a multi-generational organization to be born.

Riverview Foundation in Black Belt magazineRapid growth and evolution marked the first years of this unique school located in the Northeast corner of the country. Black Belt Magazine, a prestigious international martial arts trade magazine, declared Riverview, “School of the Month” in their anniversary edition commemorating the great Bruce Lee. Local families responded quickly to the appearance of an old-style process for nurturing and educating and Riverview began accepting youth students in early 1990. By 1993, the training had been so relentless that the grounds of the original facility were exhausted. Grass was disappearing from many acres of the land due to the rigorous outdoor classes as the student body continued to grow.

In 1994, the growth and demand for programming from throughout the community inspired Riverview’s founder and five senior students and part-time staff members to reach for something more comprehensive. With tireless work from all six people, Riverview was able to earn 501(c)3 approval in record time and Riverview Martial Arts and Security Academy became the benevolent public non-profit Riverview Foundation, “Dedicated to Improving the Quality of Life.”

Topsham River Road DojoThe rest of the 90s saw a rapid growth in the size and scope of the Foundation as well as its undertakings. Programs were developed and refined. Facilities and assets were acquired at a rate not quite ever imagined. Staff were trained and fire-forged. Scope of services stretched from Jackman Maine to Sarasota Florida and community partnerships were born and strengthened. As the decade came to a close a new focus on Riverview’s ability to produce results for the communities of Maine began to sparkle.

As the non-profit newness wore off, proof that a successful, from the ground-up Maine non-profit could emerge from just a vision and massive amounts of hard work, took shape. Throughout the first decade of the millennium programs grew strong, focused, refined and sought after. Proprietary program design began to take shape and yield above average statistical results. Facilities and assets became streamlined and properly realigned, as did processes for creating future qualified staff members. Each and every day resulted in a monumental success, a frustrating failure, a mark on history and a life changed. It was a decade that forever changed the course of the organization’s ability to produce quality, mission driven programming.

As the first decade of the 2000s came to a close and the second began, with programs fully seasoned and experienced staff eager to tackle any challenge that blossomed, focused efforts were placed on creating the Foundation’s legacy. The life cycle of the organization has now shifted and with that comes the creation of not only the next 5-10 years of success but the next 50-100.  With one eye on the foreground and one towards the horizon, the staff, boards, volunteers and community partners of Riverview Foundation welcome both keeping the mission true and maintaining the massive amount of hard work that go into actively producing quality results.