Education and VRA

providing Grant In Aid scholarships to deserving VRA members and their families, so that they can defray educational costs and further their education

VRA Foundation, a 501C(3) Organization

The mission of the VRA Foundation is to increase excellence in personal living and upward mobility of members of the Virginia Rehabilitation Association through educational assistance as they provide advocacy for the disabled population of the Commonwealth of Virginia. In essence the VRA Foundation provides Grant In Aid scholarships to deserving VRA members and their families, so that they can defray educational costs and further their education. It is a wonderful benefit of your VRA membership.

History of the VRA Foundation

The Virginia Rehabilitation Association created the Grant-in-Aid Program with the establishment of an endowment fund in 1985 with an amount of $1,000. Fund raising began. Contributions continued to enhance the fund until by action of the September 1988 VRA Board the endowment was topped off at $10,000 from VRA general funds. All funds received after that is an addition to the endowment.

VRA Foundation Background

The committee began to administer the program in the academic year of 1988-89 and continued under the direction of the VRA Board until the Foundation was incorporated in 1992. Donations in honor and in memory are accepted for responses to family and friends.


The Board of Trustees as appointed by the Virginia Rehabilitation Association governs the Foundation. The organization consists of three officers and four additional members who are elected for rotating terms of service.

VRA Foundation Bylaws


The Board of Trustees is responsible for an annual low key event to solicit the VRA Board and its membership toward increasing the endowment. In 1998, the Foundation Board members were given a financial challenge, which they met. In 1999 and 2000, the Board was given a $500 challenge for the Board and the VRA membership. These challenges were met. The largest major gift to date came in 1999 when the Miss Wheelchair Virginia Pageant decided to forgo the incorporated status and close down. The entire treasury of $2,433.56 was donated to the Foundation. Donations may be made payable to the VRA Foundation at anytime.


Persons eligible to receive aid are VRA members in good standing, a child or spouse of member. Applications and criteria may be obtained from any VRA Foundation Board member.

Foundation Board Members

Howard Green, Chair
Rob Froehlich, Treasurer
Mark Fletcher, Secretary
Dale Batten
Bonnie Henn
Kim Shepard

Scholarship Awards

Since its inception in 1987 the Foundation has awarded more than $16,000 in scholarships and this year gave an award to: Patricia Ann Darr and Kari Gray.

photo of Patricia Ann Darr
Patricia Ann Darr

Dear Ms. Johnston:
I want to thank the VRA Education Foundation for the $650 Scholarship I received. Thank you does not seem like enough to say. This money has paid for my fall semester books and part of last semester’s books! I did not realize the expense of textbooks when I began my Master’s program and this Scholarship has really rescued me! I truly appreciate the VRA and receiving this Scholarship!
Patricia Ann Darr

photo of Kari Gray
Kari Gray

Dear Ms. Gillispie:
I would like to express my thanks to you and the VRA for awarding me with this scholarship. I appreciate the financial support. I am entering my first year of college and the support will help make this transition smoother. Thank you again for the generous support.
Kari Gray

Past Award Recipients