RICHMOND – In a city full of eclectic artwork, it’s no surprise that Richmond is home to the Glass Spot, the only public hot glass studio in Central Virginia. There, artists blow air into a pipe to turn hot glass into ornaments, vases and other items.
But the studio – owned by Chris Skibbe, who has been glassblowing for almost 20 years – does more than produce art. It also helps the community. This week, it hosted a fundraiser for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
At Wednesday’s event, 10 participants put on safety goggles, grabbed shears and other tools, and created drinking glasses. Participants purchased $45 tickets in advance, of which $10 was donated to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
“It was a joy doing this because I’ve never done this before,” said Bobby Wright, one of the participants.
Wright said he was diagnosed with leukemia in 2006. He was excited about the Glass Spot’s fundraiser in part because he has a team that participates in the Richmond Light The Night Walk and raises money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society every year.
Wright and Susan Reid, a volunteer for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, said the event at the Glass Spot was much more than an opportunity to create drinking glasses.
“I was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2005,” Reid said. “In April 2018, I will be celebrating 12 years of remission. And for the kind of cancer that I have, it still is not considered curable.”
Reid said the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s mission – to help cure blood cancers – led her to the Glass Spot. She described meeting the staff there as a “happy mistake.”
That mistake, Reid said, led to her fundraising efforts at the Glass Spot. The proceeds help fund research to find a cure for blood cancers, provide educational materials for patients, caregivers and providers, and assist patients with insurance copayments and other expenses.
“I felt grateful for the fact that I keep continuing in remission, but I hear stories of others. Some not so good. Some sad. Some joyous just like mine,” Reid said. “So it keeps me motivated to want to continue to help fund the research and provide other opportunities for patients to get more years in remission.”
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By Ahniaelyah Spraggs
Capital News Service.