MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Ohio (WDTN) – An Ohio porch gargoyle has made quite the impact on local charities, now raising more than $330,000.
“Frank the Christmas Gargoyle” sits on Denise Starr’s front porch. Within the past year, the statue has gained a following.
Frank’s claim to fame came around Christmastime when Starr’s neighbor — whom she calls “Karen” — sent her a note complaining about Frank.
“She wanted me to put Frank in the garage, out of sight because she thought he was unsightly and wasn’t keeping with the Christmas spirit and festive,” Starr said.
Starr decided to deck out Frank and the entire porch for the Christmas season. She took pictures of the display as well as a picture of the note that “Karen” sent her and posted it on social media. It quickly went viral, and people started donating to the Dayton Foodbank in Frank’s name. He raised $50,000 in a matter of days.
“I don’t know that she necessarily appreciates the whole thing, but you know, she’s part of it. She’s part of the reason why it became so popular,” Starr said.
Starr never initially intended continuing the decorations and the fundraising after Christmas, but people continued to give.
“And I was like, well, let’s see how far I can go with it,” Starr said.
Frank the Gargoyle has raised more than $330,000 for organizations like the House of Bread, Crayons to Classrooms and Hospice of Dayton, among others.
“The Cincinnati Zoo, that was the funnest one for me,” Starr said. “I had been in contact with a T-shirt company in Cincinnati, and they started putting out the T-shirts that raised money for the Cincinnati Zoo.”
To thank Starr, the Zoo even gave her a baby Fiona statue, modeled after the popular hippo born at the zoo in 2017. She now sits alongside Frank on Starr’s porch.
“They had this life-size Fiona statue from her dimensions when she was born. They gave it to me and that was awesome, and I got to meet Fiona, which was you know the biggest thrill for me,” Starr said.
As Starr has decorated for all of the holidays, she says “Karen” has had plenty to gripe about.
“She complained a lot at Easter,” Starr said. “She made a comment on a note that she hoped I get ants because I had Peeps out there.”
Despite the nasty notes from “Karen,” Starr wrote “Karen” a thank you note because she credited her with some of Frank’s success.
“I found it ripped up in pieces back on the porch a few days later,” Starr said.
While that will probably be the last “thank you” note she’ll send, she won’t be stopping the displays anytime soon.
“We’ve got plans for the fall. Halloween’s going to be big, you know, because he’s a gargoyle and Halloween is kind of his jam,” Starr said.