A Getzville woman has turned her hobby and passion into an effort for to raise money for a charity close to her heart, making her this week's Good Neighbor.
Fran Petersen's hobby keeps her very busy in retirement. Go to any local craft show and you'll probably find the 79-year-old selling her homemade greeting cards.
She makes beautiful and creative cards for every holiday, and magnetic bookmarks, too. One of her most popular designs features pressed flowers that she grows and presses herself.
With all of that labor you'd expect to pay a pretty penny for these little works of art. But she gladly admits she's a lot cheaper than the big commercial card brands.
"I've been selling them for $1.50 each or four for $5. And I don't charge tax because it's a total donation," said Mrs. Peterson.
Every cent she makes, she gives away.
"I have only kept track since the year 2000, but since 2000 I've made over $90,000 and donated it all," she said.
She donates it all to Cystic Fibrosis. As a teacher in the North Tonawanda school district, Mrs. Petersen lost two of her co-workers to the disease, so she chose to give to that cause, and specifically the Lung Center at Children's Hospital.
"I've met incredible people doing it and I've never done a show where I haven't met someone who in some way hasn't been touched by Cystic Fibrosis."
Her cards don't just bring smiles, they bring hope- making Fran Petersen a good neighbor.
If you know of a good neighbor whose story you'd like Melissa Holmes to tell, just e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org or send her a tweet @2melissaholmes.
To inquire about Fran Petersen's greeting cards and bookmarks, contact her at (716) 689-0747.
You'll find her selling her cards at the following venues:
Vinecroft- July 9th
Amherst Senior Center- July 24 & 25, Sept. 10 & 11
Salem Church- 114 Morgan St. Tonawanda- Sept. 20
Amherst Senior Center- Oct. 20 & 21
St. Mark Lutheran Church- 1135 Oliver St., N. Tonawanda- Nov. 1
Amherst Senior Center- Nov. 24 & 25
St. Gregory the Great- Nov. 28 & 29
Heim School – Dec. 6 & 7