Single? Looking for new friends, casual dating, or maybe just someone to walk the dogs with? There may be a Facebook group just for you.
Severino Lunardon is the administrator of a Facebook Group called “South Simcoe Singles” launched less than two weeks ago. The group already has more than 120 members.
Lunardon, who owns and operates Innisfil Dry Cleaning and Laundry, often met people that were either single, divorced, widowed, or people who were just lonely.
“I love talking to people,” says Lunardon. “A lot of the time people talk to me about relationships [and] how to improve them… I love connecting with people, I’m very personable like that.”
In July, Lunardon suddenly found himself in a similar boat to many of his clients – single – after his long-term common-law relationship ended abruptly.
“I had two choices: stay home and be sad and alone, or get out there and meet new people, new faces, new distractions, meet people with similar interests, and focus on moving forward rather than what’s left behind,” shared Lundardon.
So, Lunardon started the South Simcoe Singles group which began as a way to meet new people but quickly grew into connecting the community together through common interests.
“I realized there was no where in town to meet people,” reports Lunardon. “Dating today is like picking through garbage… you’re banking on someone throwing out a diamond.”
This wasn’t Lunardon’s first successful Facebook group, however. The entrepreneur runs several other groups such as the Innisfil Love & Light (a spiritual group dedicated to living and thinking positive), the Innisfil Spoonies and Mental Health (for chronic illnesses and mental health sufferers), Alcona Nostra (Innisfil Italian Community), Innisfil Neighbours, Friends and Buds (which has over 3,500 members and started in Lunardon’s backyard), Innisfil LGBTQ+, and Innisfil 55+”u to name a few.
“I wanted the town to get along, love each other and get to know one another,” shares Lunardon. “I didn’t want this town to be like a big city… I wanted people to connect, to be there for each other and support one another.”
From just the click of a computer button, Lunardon’s groups were taking off by storm and linked hundreds of individuals of all ages, races, sexual preferences, or similar interests together in a matter of days.
“Just two days after creating the Innisfil 55+ group, I had over 50 members,” says Lunardon. “Then, just a couple more days later, members were meeting up for breakfast and playing cards together – they’re still meeting every week.”
Lunardon also organizes community events such as a bi-annual Innisfil beach clean up, karaoke food-drives for the Innisfil Food Bank, and is well known for his community bonfire gatherings on his large property.
“Everyone came to my house to hang out all the time… even strangers. It was the hang out spot,” jokes Lunardon. “There’s all kinds of interesting people to meet out there. We need to find commonalities… by doing this, we find things that make us happy.”
Lunardon confesses he was not always so positive. Growing up in Toronto, he became accustomed to living in a big city where no one talked to anyone and “dirty looks” were the norm.
“I was that guy that rolled down the window and flipped the finger when someone cut me off,” admits Lunardon. “Then one day someone looked at me after I made a string of complaints and asked if I was happy… and I just decided to change!”
Lunardon adds that compassion is grossly lacking in today’s society, and especially during a time when there is a need for more understanding during bigger issues such as the current pandemic, or Black Lives Matter movements.
“If wearing a mask is going to help someone feel safer, then I’m going to do it, because it’s compassion,” explains Lunardon. “I’m not going to argue about garbage pick-up online; the world fights enough… the only way we will make a change is to all start making a change together. The more we can surround everyone with positive things, the more times someone will say hello and hold the door open for you”.
Lunardon continues to focus on sharing his positivity while making lasting impressions within the community. He is currently single and enjoying life.
“There’s all kinds of relationships out there – not just love. There’s always something positive you can get out of people.”