Ornament fundraiser exceeds goal

ASHFIELD ­— The goal for the second annual Cure for Cancer fundraiser was to sell enough hand-made Christmas ornaments to raise $2,000 for The Cancer Connection. Instead, ornament-makers raised $3,200.

“So it’s far exceeded the goal,” said Maryellen Cranston, a cancer survivor who organized the ornament fundraiser with artist Jenny Markens, whose felted-bunny ornaments went like hot cakes during this year’s fundraiser.

“That bunny will be back next year, definitely,” said Cranston. The miniature bunny sailing in a walnut shell boat was so popular that Markens couldn’t keep up with the demand. Cranston said Markens plans to create a felted bunny ornament each year, with different themes — musician bunnies or fishermen bunnies, for instance. Meanwhile, some bunny orders this Christmas are being back-filled.

Cranston said the response to a photograph in The Recorder was enormous, and other artists were moved to donate their own work to the fundraiser. Cranston said Gary and Maureen Briere of Stick Figure Artisans donated some handmade slate ornaments, decorated with recycled materials, which also sold very well. She said other artists have already asked to donate items for next year’s sale.

“There were a lot of great stories from people this year, about how much people appreciate Cancer Connection and what they do,” said Cranston.

Cranston and Markens started this fundraiser last Christmas season, shortly after Cranston celebrated her third year of being cancer-free. The goal was simply to raise $1,000 from sales of hand-made ornaments, but instead they raised $2,000. This year, 17 local crafters helped to make the ornaments, which were sold at Cranston’s Tree Farm over the holidays.

You can reach Diane Broncaccio at: dbroncaccio@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 277

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