DAYTON — When you believe in a great cause like defeating breast cancer, you always look for a silver lining, no matter how cloudy the day may be. That’s how donor and CBC supporter Fran Duell feels about the causes she supports and it shows in the silver sparkle she’s added to the afghan blanket she creates.
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and it is a tradition for Duell, a Vandalia resident, to create an iconic pink afghan as a prize for donors who enter the afghan drawing when they donate at the downtown Dayton Donor Center. Fran generously hand-crafts afghan blankets for many causes, but having lost her sister to breast cancer, the pink blanket is a particular labor of love.
The drawing for the Breast Cancer Awareness Afghan begins Monday, Oct. 5 and will continue for two weeks. The blanket will be on display in the Donor Room, and donors are likely to notice a bit more dazzle than Fran’s previous creations.
A year ago CBC “commissioned” Fran to make an “Anniversary Afghan” for CBC’s “50 Years or Saving Lives” celebration. She added metallic gold thread to give the golden anniversary blanket a special glitter.
Then she added silver thread to her traditional red, white and blue “Patriot Day Afghan” drawing in September, and a star was born. “I did one and ever since everybody wants it,” she said. “They call it ‘sparkle.’ I think it’s eye catching. It gets people’s attention.”
The “sparkle” thread caught Fran’s eye when she was hunting her traditional thread. “I ran out of what they call ‘heather grey.’ I ran down to the Walmart and all they had was the light grey with sparkle, and I thought, ‘what the heck?’”
The sparkle grey is a noticeable addition to another of her traditional blankets that will be the prize in a donor drawing at the Dayton Donor Center next month. She added the silver threat to the “Ohio State Afghan” she makes in honor of the annual Ohio State- Michigan rivalry game. The famed “Silver Bullet” OSU defense now has a rival in the Fran’s “Silver Blanket.”
“I only do these blankets for charities and for family members,” she said. “Whenever I do one now, I have to put a little sparkle in it.”