Morgan’s Message Spreads Awareness to Mental Health Through Central Fauquier Sports Complex


Erika Harrington

The 3 million dollar Central Sports Complex project opened to the public on August 15, and consists of 11 new sports fields, spanning 74 acres.

After 20 years of discussion and 2 years of work, 11 new sports fields, spanning 74 acres, are open to the public. The five natural grass multipurpose fields, four 60 foot baseball/softball fields, one 90 foot baseball/softball field and one artificial turf multipurpose field, dedicated to Morgan Rodgers, opened on August 15.
The artificial turf field was dedicated in honor of Morgan Rodgers because of her love for sports.

“Morgan was a daughter, a sister, and a friend, she was loved and she excelled in every sport she tried. She was kind, artistic, intelligent [and] funny. She loved music and would dance like no one was watching. She didn’t care what other people thought of her. She was a great person. She made people feel welcome and valued on and off the field,” said co-founder of Morgan’s Message, Dona Rodgers.

Morgan was a college lacrosse athlete who struggled with mental health and passed away, from suicide, in 2019, at the age of 22. The Morgan’s Message organization was established to bring awareness to Morgan’s story “because mental health is a very touchy subject, and yet so many people struggle with it,” said Dona. They hope, through this mission, they can reduce, and become part of the bigger impact to eliminate, the stigma of mental health.
“People often think that they are held to a certain standard and that they always have to be okay. You should never feel ashamed or embarrassed to tell someone that you’re not okay or are struggling with something,” Rodgers said. They want mental health to be considered just as important as physical health.
In total the development took about 13 million dollars, but an additional million will raise the total to finalize the project. “When we heard there was going to be a new sports complex without a turf field, we thought it would be a good idea to have a year-round, weather permissible, turf field,” said Dona. The Rodgers family offered the property to the town for a fraction of the market value 20 years ago when the plan was under review.
By making the new field, the Rodgers family hopes to “bring pride to the players and families from their sports facilities, and give a place where players can be proud to be and play on,” said Rodgers. They also hope it encourages and inspires athletes to keep reaching goals.
Rodgers said, “We raised our family to believe that sports teach us so much more than just physical skills. It teaches about communication, teamwork, strong work ethic, it also builds self-esteem and confidence. It teaches you how to bounce back when things don’t go your way.” Morgan still lives on through Morgan’s Message, her family and the field. To learn more about Morgan and her story visit

A sign, in Morgan’s memory, was placed in front of the turf field for the public by the Morgan’s Message Organization. (Erika Harrington)
The turf field, stamped with Morgan Rodgers initials, was designed to be a year-round field for athletes. (Erika Harrington)