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Posts Tagged ‘Veteran Presentation’

Meet Ron Baker: Road 2014's Veteran of Honor

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

Island Batik, and Operation Homefront came together to honor a military veteran at Road 2014.  The veteran chosen was Ron Baker, a former combat photographer. Mr. Baker spent 12 years in the military (from 1964 until 1976), serving in Germany, Vietnam, Japan, and California. Today, Mr. Baker works as an advocate for other veterans. _i4c3179The result of taking pictures of the realities of war left Ron with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. In order to avoid being depressed or anxious from this ailment, Ron has turned to working with Operation Homefront, helping other veterans move on from their war experiences. Because he too has “been there, done that,” he understands the veteran’s mentality and has the patience to help other vets. Says Ron, “I heal by helping others.” What are some of the ways that Ron helps other veterans? He shares opportunities with veterans that help get them back on their feet. Ron has come across two great organizations that support veterans: Chase Bank and Operation Homefront. Chase Bank assists veterans in opening bank accounts, offering their Premier Banking and safe deposit boxes at no charge. Chase will even give $150 to $300 to a veteran to start their account. Mr. Baker has found that no other bank offers veterans what Chase offers them.  Regarding Operation Homefront, “no other non-profit gives so much to assist veterans. If they can’t help with a situation, they will direct the veteran to someone who can.”2014-01-23 17.31.37 He raises money for veterans. Ron finds ways to donate to veteran causes. He started a recycling program where he collects recyclable items and has veterans separate and take to recycling centers to raise money. In 2013, a company donated a hot tub and proceeds from the sale of the spa were given to veterans. He also contacted The Price is Right television game show and requested that the show include veterans as contestants on Veterans Day. The first person up on stage was a veteran and he ended up winning a car which was later sold and the proceeds went to veteran causes. He is looking forward to raising even more money in 2014. He supports programs for veterans. Coffee for Vets is a program that shares information on what is available for veterans. Aid and Attendance advises veterans how to access programs._i4c2941[1] What did it mean to Ron to be honored at Road to California? Years ago, he had a dream where he dreamt that he was being honored and appreciated for his service. The presentation at Road was a fulfillment of that dream. “For 40 years, no one has ever said thank you for my service. I have always lived with shame and guilt. I didn’t want anyone to know what I did. The recognition at Road to California (resulted) in a lot of healing inside me. I wish this could happen for all vets.”    ]]>

Honoring the Armed Forces

Saturday, May 17th, 2014

Everyone loves a parade.

So why not have a parade not only kick off Road 2014, but also provide the backdrop for a Veterans Presentation? Ten drummers from the Colony High School Titan Regiment led the way for Carolyn and Matt Reese and invited dignitaries that included Ontario, California Mayor, Paul Leon; San Bernardino County Supervisor, Gary Ovitt; and his wife, Sue Ovitt, a Chaffey High School District Board Trustee; as well as representatives from Operation Home Front and Island Batik._i4c2887[1] The parade began in the hallway of the Ballroom Pre-function area and turned south into the main Exhibit Hall, ending up right smack dab in the center of the huge hall. Attendees were treated to a drum roll exhibition before the Veterans Presentation started._i4c2916[1] Matt Reese handled the Master of Ceremony duties. He introduced the singer for the National Anthem, quilter and musician, Jerry Granata, who offered a rousing acapella rendition of the famed song._i4c2914[1] Comments in support of Road to California and the veteran event were offered by Mr. Leon, Mr. Ovitt, and Mr. Kyler Olejnik of Operation Homefront. Carolyn Reese presented a beautiful patriotic quilt, made from Island Batik fabrics, to recipient Ron Baker, a Vietnam Veteran and volunteer for Operation Homefront._i4c2941[1] When the program was completed, the drummers led the party out of the Convention Center. It was a huge honor for the Colony High School Regiment to be included in the ceremony. Said Tatiana, Co-Drum Captain, “We don’t usually perform for this type of audience. Usually we only perform for teenagers. They (the quilters) were really cool; cheering and dancing.” Eli, the other Co-Drum Captain, remarked, “It was great to be here, out in the community and get our name out.” Ninth grader Sergio said, “It was great to make everyone smile.” The Regiment especially enjoyed meeting the mayor. And because they got all caught up in the “quilt fever” of the show, they offered to make the mayor a quilt out of all their band show tee-shirts!!! What a festive way to start off this year’s 19th Annual Conference and Showcase!!! What did you think about all the festivities?]]>

Highlights of Road 2014

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

Another great show has come and gone.

This year’s event had more guests, more vendors, more space, more learning, more emotion, and just more great fun!!! 

Over 25,000 people came to Road this year. Men and women. Young and old. From Southern California, all around the United States, and across the globe.  We met guests from England, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa and even Serbia. hall__i4c5713

This year we welcomed over 200 vendors – a 30% increase from last year. There was more variety, more fabric, and more non-quilting items available for purchase. Each booth was attractively decorated and alluring. The vendors were friendly, helpful, and eager to assist.vendor floor 2

To accommodate our additional guests and vendors, a 2,800 square foot Pavilion was added to the south end of the Ontario Convention Center. Housed inside was more seating, more food venues, and more space for the extra vendors. It was air conditioned, carpeted, and had the feeling of an old fashioned country fair.

 Learning and inspiration is a big part of Road. More classes were offered throughout the day and evening, beginning on the Monday before the show and continuing through the final day.  New this year was a $5.00 Lecture Series sharing the history, process, and secrets of products familiar to the quilting industry.  

Also new this year was a Daily Raffle. Guests had the opportunity to enter their chance to win wonderful prizes each day of the show. Every afternoon at exactly 3:30 p.m., the name of a lucky winner was announced throughout the venue. Crowds gathered at the north information desk hoping to hear their name and to catch a glimpse of the winner. The recipients were so excited, so thrilled, and so grateful for their prizes.

Probably the biggest highlight this year was the Veteran Presentation at the beginning of the show. In conjunction with Road’s support of Quilted in Honor and Operation HomeFront, Carolyn Reese presented a quilt she created to a deserving veteran of the Vietnam War. Many tears were shed in the Exhibit Hall during this memorable event.Veteran

The Reese family gives their heart and soul in providing this “Best in the West“ Quilters’ Conference and Showcase. Says Carolyn, “What brings me the most joy is seeing people walk around with a smile on their face, forgetting their problems and having a good time.”  

In the coming weeks, the blog will be sharing in-depth, behind-the-scene stories of this year’s show. You won’t want to miss a single post as we remember the highlights of Road 2014.

What was your favorite part of this year’s show?