The Traverse City Quilting Divas group recently completed and sent 15 one-of-a-kind quilts to soldiers at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.
The quilting group has met for 12 years to further their knowledge in the art of quilt-making and includes members from all over the Grand Traverse area, Lansing, South Carolina, Florida and Ottawa, Canada. Members provide a quilt to be raffled annually at the St. Francis Christmas Festival, participate in various projects and volunteer at the State Theatre once a month. They also raise money to host nationally known quilting authors to provide educational opportunities to the community.
The “Quilts of Valor” project was suggested by Quilting Divas member Sandy Earle who lives at Elk Lake in the summer and Key Biscayne, Fla., in the winter. After receiving instructions on how to proceed, the quilters selected fabric from their “stashes” and met during their regular meeting time to create the quilt tops. Member Lynne Magee quilted all of the quilts sent to her and the completed quilts were delivered to Walter Reed by Amy Zambrano of Florida.
“When the solders leave the front and return to Walter Reed, they come with no personal items,” wrote Maggie Quinn, a member of the quilting group. “The quilts are a way for us to wrap our arms around them as they return home and begin the recovery process. We were honored to create ... the quilts as a small token of our appreciation for the sacrifices they have made for us.”
After delivering the quilts, Amy wrote the group to say “thank you for the time, energy and effort you put into getting the beautiful quilts into the hands of the newly wounded. They loved their new quilts and were so appreciative. We gave them to guys who had nothing but the hospital sheets and blanket, so the quilts literally warmed up their rooms. They were just so thankful that they were remembered by all of us this holiday.”
Grand Traverse Ophthalmology Clinic’s annual Fall Trunk Sale raised $3,150 to benefit the Traverse Health Clinic-CHAP, Special Olympics and Hickory Hills-Grand Traverse Ski Club.
“We are delighted to be able to give back to the community by supporting these wonderful charities and to bring to the forefront the services of these organizations who help those in need in our area,” said GTOC’s Matthew Madion, MD.