MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Ohio (WDTN) — A gargoyle on one local porch has caused quite a stir among neighbors, but the homeowner is taking the added attention and using it to help raise money for the Dayton Foodbank.
The statue is known as “Frank the Christmas Gargoyle” and he sits on Denise Starr’s porch.
“I’ve had Frank for three years, I think,” says Denise. “I thought the gargoyles were very interesting, and I like the kind of story that they, you know, offer protection from evil spirits.”
But even with Frank guarding her house, that mean spirit found a way in this holiday season.
“I got a note on the door from a neighbor,” recounts Denise.
Denise calls her neighbor “Karen.” This “Karen” recently took up issue with Frank.
“Basically stated that they thought I should move the gargoyle because he wasn’t festive and he was unsightly and ugly,” says Denise.
Denise took matters into her own hands topping Frank with a Santa hat and beard. She didn’t stop there and added even more to her porch display.
“I’m like I can deck out this whole porch as festive as you want,” laughs Denise.
She says it’s not the first time “Karen” had a problem with her, recalling a year ago.
“She had complained about the hippo inflatable,” states Denise. “She said that looks dumb because it’s the only thing out there [in the yard] and hippos don’t have anything to do with Christmas.”
This year, Frank got under “Karen’s” skin, and she kept sending Denise nasty notes.
That’s when Denise got the idea to turn it into something positive. She detailed Frank’s saga on Facebook, asking for donations to the Dayton Foodbank.
“I just wanted to post something that said if this page made you smile, and you want to pay that smile forward, you know, maybe you would consider donating to the Foodbank,” says Denise.
Her post blew up. Frank has gained more than 700,000 followers on Facebook and raised more than $50,000 for the Foodbank.
“That’s translating into over 300,000 meals. We are so shocked and grateful and excited that somebody would think of us,” states Caitlyn McIntosh, in charge of Outreach with the Dayton Foodbank.
Denise also wrote “Karen” a note back.
“Basically a thank you note,” says Denise. “Indirectly she brought a lot of joy to a lot of people–Myself included because I had a great time coming up with ideas to put out there.”
Denise has even left “Karen” a gift on her porch, which has yet to be claimed.
“A gift appropriate for the notes that she left me,” Denise says of the toilet paper and Snickers bar that’s waiting for her neighbor.
The feud over Frank also comes with an underlying lesson.
“Be kind to everybody. Not everybody celebrates the same way. And it’s just kind of funny how one cranky note can turn into a whole lot of joy for a whole lot of people. Unintended consequences is kind of a funny thing,” reminds Denise.
While her other decorations will come down in the new year, Frank is there to stay.
“He’s super heavy. I’m not moving him,” laughs Denise.
Frank even has a place at the Foodbank.
“I made a joke earlier, if he wants to be our new mascot, bring him on down. We don’t care,” laughs Caitlyn.