Brain Injury Services of Southwest Virginia, started in 2000 by a New River Valley couple that lost their son to traumatic brain injury, provides clients with the resources they need while in recovery. The Roanoke-based organization, which covers much of Southwestern Virginia and now extends into the Lynchburg, Martinsville and Danville areas, doesn’t provide those services itself but makes sure those that need help with rehabilitation or other issues can find what they need.
All of that takes money of course and on October 8th from 1 to 4pm at the Roanoke City Market Building on the mezzanine the third annual “Star City Sweetness” event will raise funds for Brain Injury Services.
A ten dollar admission fee entitles attendees to sample chocolate, pastries and other goodies from local restaurants and shops; that money plus proceeds from a raffle go to the non-profit. Roanoke delegate Sam Rasoul is the co-host and has been a backer of Star City Sweetness since its debut several years ago.
Development and marketing director Mae Johnson says Brain Injury Services “provides case management for people that have survived a brain injury. We step in after people have received their medical treatment, say from a hospital or rehabilitative facility. They come home and they still need a little help getting around – learning how to live independently again.”
Brain Injury Services may help find the technology someone might need in their home as they recover; equipment that can help with mobility issues, installing a ramp perhaps and “helping them find funding to re-do their bathroom to make it more accessible.”
Johnson says demand for their services has been growing, in part because there is more awareness for the issue in general as topics like concussions in youth and professional sports has come to the forefront.
Star City Sweetness on October 8 will offer at least one dozen vendors says Johnson, including Chocolate Paper, Bread Craft, K & J’s Restaurant, Wall Street Deli, Pumpernickel Pickle, Healthy Stuff, Taste Buds Popcorn and others.
Karina Clinton, an owner at RT Smith’s Deli on Campbell Avenue in downtown Roanoke, will be there with some of the sweet pastries offered at their shop with a New York attitude. That will include mini cheese danishes – a sugar free version as well on the 8th – citrus-glazed lemon delights and something called a “magic chocolate cake.”
Clinton says her husband had been diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2000 and went through surgery at UVA; he came out of it “very well,” says his wife but he did have an issue at first with motor skills. So participating in Star City Sweetness “was something we felt we really wanted to support.” At the time her husband went through the surgery and rehab process there was not as much information out there says Karina Clinton about the services and resources available. “Being able to help get the word out for [Brain Injury Services] is wonderful for us.”
Johnson encourages everyone with a sweet tooth or a taste for bread to head for the City Market building on October 8. “It’s an enjoyable event and will be a nice fall day. Come on out and help support us.”
See bisswva.org for more information.
By Gene Marranohttp://www.firstchurchroanoke.org/
This story first appeared in The Roanoke Times on October 1, 2016.