Local Commentary

A Penny For Your Thoughts

When I first met Roxanne more than 20 years ago, she was a saleswoman at a local car dealership, then an untraditional occupation for a woman. She handled my vehicle purchase, and we kept in touch as she moved to other roles, continuing to call Mason District “home.” When she tackled the role of civic leadership in her homeowners’ association, we worked together on National Night Out and other community events. Roxanne nearly always has a smile on her face, and her joie de vivre is infectious. When she told me, a few years ago, that she had been diagnosed with cancer, she was upbeat and determined to face it down. Fortunately, modern treatments put the disease into remission, but Roxanne called me recently, to tell me that the cancer has resurfaced, as leukemia, this time with a vengeance.

Leukemia killed my mother a quarter century ago, and I remember the difficult decisions she had to make about blood transfusions to extend her life. Sadly, transfusions didn’t help my mother, but they can help Roxanne and other patients who depend on the availability of blood to save their lives. Ever positive, Roxanne has arranged for the INOVA Bloodmobile to be at Glory Days Grill at Barcroft Plaza, 6341 Columbia Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041 on Sunday, March 20, from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m., for “Roxanne’s Celebration of Life Blood Drive.” It’s people like Roxanne who need donors like you. Find out if you are eligible to donate blood at https://www.inovablood.org/donate-blood/eligibility, and reserve a donation time slot that works for you at www.inovablood.org. Or just come by and join Roxanne and her friends in a very special celebration of life.

As long as you are stopping by Barcroft Plaza, you can celebrate life, especially birthdays, anniversaries, and other significant occasions, at Jake’s Ice Cream, located on the western side of the shopping center. Actually, you don’t need a special occasion for ice cream, do you? It’s good any time. Jake’s Ice Cream is a small company that opened for business last August. Jake’s is owned by longtime Mason District resident Robin Rinearson, who employs about 20 adults who are differently abled, and who operate the store, from manager to clean-up crew. You can meet the actual “Jake,” for whom the shop is named, and enjoy all kinds of ice cream treats. On a warm day, it is not unusual to see families lined up to order their favorite treat, and some customers enjoying their desserts in the colorful Adirondack chairs on the front patio. Jake’s Ice Cream is a locally owned, independent business that has two missions: serving delicious ice cream treats, and ensuring that differently abled adults have good, paid, job opportunities in the community. Jake’s also has gift cards available. What could be better – gift cards and ice cream! Time for a new tradition – ice cream at Jake’s!

The long-awaited Chick-fil-A restaurant in downtown Annandale is nearing completion. The logo and sign have been installed, along with a “We’re Hiring” sign, and plans are underway for an April grand opening.

Penny Gross is the Mason District Supervisor, in the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. She may be emailed at mason@fairfaxcounty.gov.


  • Penny Gross

    Penny Gross is the Mason District Supervisor in the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. She may be e-mailed at mason@fairfaxcounty.gov