The grand prize Harley-Davidson Road King Classic is still up for grabs – we won’t know who will win the motorcycle in the “King of the Road Summer Blood Drive” until the announcement event on Sept. 19. But the King of the Road Afghan blanket, hand-made in Harley-Davidson colors, has found a home! The winner is Waynesville donor Freddie Messer, pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Bellbrook.
Pastor Messer entered his name in the drawing for Fran Duell’s custom-crafted Afghan during one of his regular visits to the Dayton CBC to donate platelets. He was presented with his prize Tuesday, Sept. 10 at CBC while making his 244th lifetime donation.
Pastor Messer doesn’t ride a Harley, but he likes the blanket’s orange and black colors because it can “double” as a Cincinnati Bengals bleacher blanket. “It caught my eye,” he said when he first saw the Afghan on display in the donor area. “It looked warm!”
It is a very warm blanket indeed, all the more so because it comes with warm wishes from blood donor Fran Duell. She has hand-knitted Afghans in a multitude of colors for countless charities and fundraisers, including CBC. The Afghans she has gifted to CBC for donor drawings over the years have been inspired by the themes of Patriot Day, college football and the fight against breast cancer. The Harley-Davidson design is a first for Fran.
“I’m happy with it,” she said. “Making it was the same as all my quilts. I always start with no idea about what I’m going to do. I’ll say to myself, ‘Why don’t I try this?’ If I like it, I keep going. That’s why no two of my quilts are ever alike.” Her next blanket for CBC will be pink, for a donor drawing in October in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a cause very close to Fran’s heart.
Freddie Messer has served as pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church since 1976, but his history as a blood donor goes back even further. “I’ve been a blood donor since I was a teen. In fact, I started when I was 18,” he said. “I was introduced to the apheresis program, they asked, ‘Have you ever thought about that?’ I’ve been doing it ever since apheresis program was upstairs.”
His next appointment will take him to his milestone 245th lifetime donation. “That just means you’re getting old!” he laughed. He agrees that his wife will be pleased to see his prize Afghan. Harley or Bengals, the orange and black are signature colors of fall. But the blanket is all his. “It will stay on my chair,” he said.