Long one of the most respected sports figures in the county, the late Don Rose will have a youth sports scholarship established in his name.
During an April 15 ceremony held at Purcellville Copy, Town Councilwoman Joan Lehr welcomed a group of family, friends and supporters as the announcement was made by Supervisor Tony Buffington (R-Blue Ridge) of the Don Rose Sr. Youth Scholarship Fund.
A Purcellville resident, Rose is a two-time Babe Ruth Hall of Famer and father figure to countless young ball players.
Lehr, who has long been associated with youth sports in Purcellville, said the fund would continue Rose’s legacy and honor his name.
The group included three of Rose’s brothers—Penny Rose, Mike Rose and Tom Rose—as well as his sister Sherry Garrison and his son Don Rose Jr. Others at the announcement included Town Councilman Doug McCollum and Vice Mayor Patrick McConville, as well as Casey Chapman and Matt Lowers.
Penny Rose has been the mover and shaker behind the effort to establish the scholarship, which was suggested by his nephew, Don Rose Jr. as a fitting memorial to his father’s legacy.
There was probably no more celebrated coach in Loudoun County than Don Rose Sr.
“He coached football, baseball, basketball and was involved with youth sports for 47 years,” Penny Rose said Monday of his brother, who died in 2013 after a lengthy illness.
It was Rose, as the Babe Ruth Commissioner of Virginia, who was instrumental in bringing the several Babe Ruth World Series tournaments to Purcellville, and it was he and his brother Mike who got Fireman’s Field into shape for the series, through their family company, Leo Construction.
Sadly, he did not live to see the home team, the Greater Loudoun Lions, win the championship in a thrilling finish in 2013. As part of the opening ceremonies for the series, a memorial plaque to Donald Neff Rose Sr. was placed at Fireman’s Field. The plaque described Rose as “A generous and passionate man who dedicated his time to youth sports not only in Loudoun County, but throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia.”
He served as the president of Upper Loudoun Youth Football, president of the Greater Loudoun Babe Ruth, president of Western Loudoun Basketball League and was the commissioner for both the Virginia State Babe Ruth and Babe Ruth District 8. Many remember his iconic voice on Friday nights as “The Voice of Viking football” for more than 25 years at Loudoun Valley High School, where he is a member of the Sports Hall of Fame.
“I know for a fact that he would help kids who couldn’t afford to pay the fees; he’d buy socks and other things for them.” And he was awarded “the first and only Optimist Club Man of Youth Award,” Penny Rose said.
The board of directors for the scholarship fund include Don Rose Jr., president; Penny Rose, treasurer; Don Jr.’s wife Lynne, secretary; and Mike and Tom Rose.
The Don Rose Sr. Youth Scholarship Fund has been established to provide financial support for Loudoun County high school graduates who wish to further their education. Students can use the funds to pursue their dreams at a college, technical or trade school, and applicants may be from public, private and home schools, with one caveat—that they must have participated in youth sports in Loudoun County.
Penny Rose said to avoid any conflict over how applicants are chosen, “we decided to start at the oldest high schools and work down to the newest.” Under that format, the four oldest schools in the county—Loudoun County, Loudoun Valley, Broad Run and Park View—will each receive two scholarships of $500, for one male and one female student. The ultimate goal is to award two scholarships to every high school in Loudoun.
“Four weeks ago, we did make an exception. We brought Woodgrove in to receive two scholarships in 2017 because Don coached so many of the parents of kids there now, and older siblings of the kids there now,” he said.
Learn more about the Don Rose Sr. Youth Scholarship Fund aenetwork.com/websites/rose. Contributions to the fund can be mailed to P.O. Box 1879, Leesburg, VA 20177.