Gilroy Family's “Fluttering” Fundraiser Spreads Nationwide In Memory Of Late Daughter

Some promises are easy to keep.

Others are hard.

The promise Libby Kranz is keeping all this month is a little bit of both.

Easy, because it is a promise she made to her six-year-old daughter, Jennifer Lynn. Hard, because she made it just a few days before Jennifer's death in February.

Jennifer died from a rare, always-fatal, type of brain tumor called DIPG (diffuse intrinsic pontine gliom). Libby swore to Jennifer that she would do whatever she could do to help in the fight against pediatric cancer.

Jennifer Lynn Kranz died from a rare, always-fatal, brain tumor called DIPG (diffuse intrinsic pontine gliom). Her mother, Libby, swore to Jennifer that she would do whatever she could do to help in the fight against pediatric cancer.

"If I can stop another mom, or another grandma, or another aunt from feeling the way I feel right now, then I will," Libby said at the time.

That is why for the entire month of September she is "fluttering," along with hundreds of other families, all over the country. Libby came up with the idea while thinking of ways to raise money for pediatric cancer research.

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Here is how it works: people buy kits containing one dozen dragonfly ornaments. They start by placing the dragonflies (often under cover of darkness) on a friend's lawn. "Jennifer would have loved this," Libby says. "She always loved secrets." The participant also leaves behind information about the Kranz's new non profit, Unravel Pediatric Cancer.

The people who have been "fluttered" are asked to make a donation, and to nominate another family to be "fluttered" the next night. The process repeats every night in September, designated National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

"Fluttering" involves a dozen dragonfly lawn ornaments secretly placed on a person's lawn. That person is asked to make a donation to Unravel Pediatric Cancer and nominate another family to be "fluttered" the following evening.

Libby's says because this was the first year of the fundraiser, she wasn't sure how many people might want to participate. Lindsay Hack, who helped Libby organize the fundraiser, says they were hoping that perhaps 50 people would sign up.

"We ended up selling out our entire supply, 350 kits," Lindsay says. The kits were sent to people in 49 states and three countries. If each kit is moved each night, they will end up "fluttering" more than 10,000 homes. They expect to raise more than $100,000.

Libby says even more important than the money, though, is raising awareness about what she sees as a woeful lack of funding for childhood cancers. "The money's not there," Libby says, "and I had no idea."

Libby says even though they are sold out of dragonfly kits for this year, people can still participate through a version of the fundraiser called "flittering." To find out how, go to the "flittering" page on their website.

Rosemary Bystrak
Libby says even more important than the money "fluttering" is raising, it is raising awareness about what she sees as a woeful lack of funding for childhood cancers. "The money's not there," Libby says, "and I had no idea."
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