Resident partners with Charles Street business owner on Saint Francis House Origami Fundraiser

By Gregory W. Skaff 

As many Beacon Hill residents are, I am deeply saddened after three wonderful years, that this year’s St Francis House fundraiser will unfortunately no longer be hosted by Susan Corcoran’s shop, Black Ink Boston.

Susan Corcoran’s retail magic is sadly missed on Beacon Hill after many successful years of business and her countless monthly origami fundraisers for different causes and moreover inspiring me to begin folding again six years ago, and I sincerely wish Susan the very best with her Black Ink Boston online business endeavors.

 In my search for a new partnership, I approached Geraldine O’Hagan owner of Rugg Road, a high-end stationery store, and Paws on Charles,  a fabulous and new dog-supply store. Geraldine without hesitation agreed to a partnership for the fourth annual Saint Francis House Origami Fundraiser with her two shops.

Geraldine was well aware of my past Saint Francis fundraising campaigns hosted by Susan Corcoran’s store Black Ink which we share the same sad sentiments about Black Ink’s departure from 101 Charles St. Given the new relationship, I worked closely with Geraldine to figure out a great campaign and I presented her with the Gen Wagiwara Origami Labrador Retriever model for Paws, which she thought would bode nicely with her shop.

On Sunday, Oct. 2, I brought in two black, one white, one chocolate brown, and two taupe-tan Labrador retrievers. Geraldine and I decided that we would offer the Labrador retriever for $25 or hopefully more, given the time and effort for the model and the great Saint Francis House cause.

So after being overheard by a customer, the customer picked the chocolate brown retriever (which has now been replenished) offering a very generous donation of $100 for the Saint Francis cause.

Prior to the fundraising launch of the Labrador retrievers, longtime Beacon Hill residents, friends, Origami enthusiasts, and supports  for the Saint Francis House cause, John and Mary Gier, donated $150 for a taupe-tan retriever and separately the same model to another donor for $75. In addition, Geraldine agreed to promote a second Origami campaign in her other shop Rugg Road stationary for the Robert J. Lang Origami Orchid.

This year’s Origami Orchid model is a design by CalTech PhD and NASA Physicist Dr. Robert J. Lang, whom I had the great honor of meeting at the 2018 OrigaMIT Convention, where I was an instructor of the Noboru Miyajima Bat. The Orchid model is one of many of Lang’s designs presented in his book “Origami Design Secrets,” which is considered the most authoritative, scholarly, and mathematically oriented books ever published on Origami.

Although I folded most the Orchid models, I was fortunate to have a couple OrigaMIT club members who I instructed the model to assist in folding a few of the Orchids. Much time and effort went into folding each Orchid model, so we are asking for a $25 donation for each model. Once again, prior to the fundraiser Orchid launch, another generous donor contributed $150 for six Orchids in each of the available colors, stating that: “Origami Orchid model and colors made her happy.”

I would like to give a thank you to Beacon Hill resident and friend and semi-retired florist Donna Wyshak, her friend and florist shop owner Lawrence Mirley of LM Florist South Boston for donating the necessary florist-grade wax-color tissue paper for the Orchid and another big thank you to Jack Gurnon at Charles Street Supply for donating a 8 and one-half inch square plexiglass template for cutting the wax tissue paper for the orchid models.

When making the donation for the origami models at each store, I ask the donors to either make a check payable to the Saint Francis House or scan the Saint Francis QR code at each shop to make the donation (at the website please credit the shop location with “For Origami Fundraiser Paws or Rugg Road Beacon Hill.”

We ask that you fill out the donor spreadsheet with either your first or first last name, your Boston neighborhood, or city and state, email if you wish to be notified of a future Origami fundraiser, and the amount of your donation, so we are able to make a full accounting of the fundraising efforts.

Depending on the popularity of the fundraiser, the ability to replenish the origami models, the drive will last from the first week of October to mid to late November.  On a very bright note, after being an instructor for the Noboru Miyajiam Bat at the 2019 OrigaMIT Convention and the convention was cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to covid, I will be an instructor for the Nov. 5 OrigaMIT Convention for the Dr. Jason Ku Convertible

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