Sadly, our Brandywine Valley CISV friend, Lori Fratinardo, passed away on December 29, 2023 from a long 10-year+ battle with breast cancer. Those of us who met Lori from her family’s involvement with CISV have a universal impression of her – Lori had more positive energy and can-do attitude than anyone most of us have ever known.
In the Beginning
The Fratinardo family joined Brandywine Valley CISV in January, 2010, when Jacqueline Fratinardo signed on to be a Summer Camp (a.k.a. Step Up) delegate in Brazil. After Jacqueline returned, having reported that she had a fabulous time, Lori held her hand up high that August, looking for ways to volunteer.
Lori joined the chapter board in 2011 and stayed until 2016. She volunteered for everything – hosting duties, mini-camps, camp snack coordination, gala committee, spirit wear, smaller fundraisers (the Scrip card program) – you name it, she did it. Many of these things she did while undergoing radiation and chemo.
Lori made her mark in fundraising and spirit wear for many years. Lori had a flair for decorating and merchandising, which she applied to both of these areas. For many years, she was a big part of the gala committee. Items would make their way to Lori’s house. She, Sue Doris and other committee members would whip them into gorgeous baskets for the auction. Her basement was legendary for all sorts of crafting materials to give those baskets that extra, extra! Every gathering to do work was fun at Lori’s house. Nothing felt like work. It was just friends getting together for a bigger purpose. Lori had the same impact heading up spirit wear. It was not just tables of T’s, tumblers, and bracelets. It was the BV CISV Store, spilling over with popular merch, all displayed in an eye-catching way. Lori took things to a whole new level!
Inspiration to the Junior Branch
Lori left her mark on the Junior Branch during those years. As she was going through her medical journey, the JB participated on her team in the Philadelphia Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.
Through Lori’s affiliation with Unite for Her, the JB did a fundraiser for the organization and a representative from Unite for Her came and gave a talk about health and wellness and its importance in the healing process. Lori continued her involvement with Unite for Her and had a team “Radiating Positivity” for the Unite For Her run/walk as recently as this year. Those JB activities left our JBers with a broader understanding of how a serious disease impacts a person and their family, how they can help and reach out and how much health and wellness initiatives can foster the positive energy needed to more forward.
Still Radiating Positivity
These were Lori’s contributions while she volunteered for our chapter. BV was just one small facet of many contributions. The list is long of her impact – as a wife, mother, friend, and supporter to her Pink community; working with special needs children; her Unite for Her work; supporting West Chester Food Cupboard (where her husband, Joe, has held a position of leadership for years – president and VP of the board). In the weeks to come, there will be more and more stories. She did not let her illness define her or keep her from living her best life. We will all miss her beautiful attitude, presence and smile – radiating positivity!
We at Brandywine Valley CISV extend our condolences to her entire family. Click here to read more about Lori’s incredible legacy.