For the sixth consecutive year, Dayton will be blanketed in good cheer courtesy of the dozens of volunteers who gathered Tuesday night to create hundreds of handmade fleece blankets for people in need.
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The Fleece Navidad Blanket Party, hosted by The Deli at Webster Street and Top of the Market, is part of what is called The Blanket Program. Once again, this year's creations will go to Dayton Children's Hospital, St. Vincent de Paul and area charities on Christmas Day.
This year's goal is to surpass 3,000 blankets made, said Jeremy Lewis, with Top of the Market.
When Tuesday night's event began about 6 p.m., the project needed an estimated 209 handmade fleece blankets to reach the goal.
Lewis was confident the goal would be surpassed.
Lewis said the program started in 2013, where volunteers came together to create 130 blankets that were donated to Dayton Children’s Hospital on Christmas Day.
In 2014, 504 blankets were created from two blanket parties and outside donations from businesses and groups.
In 2015, a "Birthday Blanket Bash" a record number of blankets were made at one event (388), according to topofthemarket.org. The program crossed the 1,000 mark that year.
In 2016, 695 blankets were made. Another 516 blankets were made in 2017, bringing the total to 2,527 made in five years.
An earlier party this year brought the total made to 2,791.
As always throughout the life of the program, The Deli & Top of the Market provided the fleece, scissors, music and food.
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