The Jason Foundation is MSR's March Business of the Month

Radford News Journal, March 22, 2008

Submitted by Main Street Radford

Pictured are Greg & Fran of the Jason Foundation
RADFORD –Did you know that falls among the elderly are the leading cause of brain injury in Virginia? Did you know that brain injury is the leading cause of death and disability among children and youth in the United States? Did you know that more than 150,000 people in our state are living with the disability of brain injury, and of those approximately 20,000 reside in Southwest Virginia? Did you know that March is Brain Injury Awareness Month?.

You know this and more if you are familiar with The Jason Foundation, Main Street Radford’s ‘Business of the Month’ for March.

Celebrating its 10th year as a Public Charity, The Jason Foundation was established by Fran and Greg Rooker. Their family experience brought about by their son’s injury was the inspiration for founding a resource for families of brain injury survivors. Learning that thousands of families struggled long-term without services and resources charged their commitment to establish specialized community-based services, which were lacking in this region and critically scarce throughout the rest of the Commonwealth. They have volunteered their time and personal resources in this effort for more than a decade.

Anyone who has ever met Fran, a feisty gal of Greek-Italian decent, or Greg, one fiercely independent retired newspaper owner and publisher, would know they could accomplish what they set out to do. While The Jason Foundation is not a typical “Business of the Month”, its activities have made a positive impact on the quality of life for many families in Radford, throughout Southwest Virginia, and other parts of the Commonwealth. A list of the foundation’s achievements over the past ten years reveals much to celebrate:

  • Establishment of Brain Injury Services of SWVA, which now provides free case management and related services to more than 300 families in Southwest Virginia annually
  • More than $225,000 in financial support awarded to families in need
  • Facilitation of Lakeview Neurorehabilitation Centers locating the first neurobehavioral treatment services in our region through their new facility in Blacksburg
  • Educational programs begun at Radford University, George Washington University, and Longwood University
  • More than $611,000 provided in grants to establish and support services and programs
  • Annual mailings of informational packets on prevention and identification of sports related concussion to middle and high schools in Southwest Virginia
  • A ripple effect of new offerings, such as the SWVA Invitational Golf Challenge and Adaptive Golf Programs, annual “Transcending Brain Injury” Conference for SWVA, New River Valley Brain Injury Support Group, Creative Therapeutic Art Expressions Class at RU’s Bondurant Center, the personal development and team building Ropes Course and Adaptive Fishing programs through RU’s Waldron College, to name a few
  • Heightened awareness among our state and local government officials, and in the general public, of the long-term and life time challenges caused by the complex disability of brain injury

To learn more of Jason’s personal story and the foundation, visit For information about brain injury resources and services, please contact The Jason Foundation at 633-2225.

Main Street Radford uses this program as a way of acknowledging and honoring our local businesses with media coverage including pictures and a write-up on Channel 11.  The Main Street Radford board of directors uses the following criteria to nominate and vote on a business of a month.

In addition to being a current member of Main Street Radford, the following criteria are used to determine eligible Business of the Month Candidates:

  • Radford business that has recently opened or are under new ownership or management
  • Radford business member that have moved to a new or second location
  • Radford business member that have completed recent property renovation
  • Radford business member that offer new or expanded services/products
  • Radford business member that is celebrating anniversary or milestones
  • Business members that have demonstrated significant growth or outstanding customer service

Becky Haupt, Main Street Radford’s Director, believes that “the business of the month” program serves as another form of advertising for our Main Street merchants.

We wouldn’t have such a unique and vibrant downtown if not for them.”  Haupt strongly encourages Radford citizens to come out and support all Radford businesses. For more information about the “Business of the Month” program, contact the MSR office at 731-3656.



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