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December 14, 2012

Area quilters give back to the community

PLATTSBURGH — Many home-bound senior citizens will have something extra on their dining tables this holiday season, thanks to the Champlain Valley Quilters Guild of New York.

The group, comprising 150 avid quilters, recently sewed and donated 400 place mats to the Clinton County Nutrition Program for the Elderly, which delivers low-cost, customized meals to area senior citizens who are unable to leave their homes.

The place mats, made in various blends of color and quilt block patterns with various techniques, were delivered to each of the Nutrition Program’s nearly 400 participants just before Thanksgiving.

“Everybody that did make one had a really unique idea,” said Mary Lou Beauharnois, who is in charge of public relations for the guild.

BIG RESPONSE

The project began right after Christmas last year, when Quilters Guild President Lorene Forttrell thought making the place mats would be a good way to utilize fabric scraps left over from her previous projects.

But when she learned just how many place mats she would need to make in order for each of the Nutrition Program’s meal recipients to have one, she turned to her fellow quilters for help.

“We had a really good response from the guild,” Beauharnois said.

In fact, the response was so good that the quilters ended up making 32 extra place mats that were donated to the Samuel F. Vilas Home in Plattsburgh.

“The members (of the guild) just continually amaze me,” Forttrell said.

GIVING NATURE

The project is one of many charitable endeavors taken on by the quilting group, which crafts and donates quilts and other items for such organizations as North Country Mission of Hope in Plattsburgh, Horace Nye Nursing Home in Elizabethtown, the Clinton County Christmas Bureau, Camp Ta-kum-ta in South Hero, Vt., and the Clinton County Person in Need of Supervision Diversion Program.

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