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Posts Tagged ‘Veterans’

Freedom Star United Loves Our Veterans

Thursday, May 26th, 2016

Freedom Star United, focuses on military and patriotic quilt fabric, kits, and patterns. Two of their sons and one daughter-in-law have served in the Marines. Patriotism is “near and dear to their hearts.”202 The Grangers are on the road most of the year, attending 30-35 quilt shows a year. “Road to California is our favorite,” said Deb. “The people are great.” Wherever they go, they look for a veteran to give a patriotic quilt to. Deb remarked, “Our hearts are with the military.” At Road 2016, Deb and Duane spotted 88 year old Morrie Hegg from Apple Valley and presented him with one of their patriotic themed quilts. Mr. Hegg is a World War II veteran, having served in the 11th Air Force Army Air Corp in Alaska. He came to Road with his wife and daughter who are both quilters. This was their 15th year at Road. They come in an RV and park near the Ontario Convention Center. Mr. Hegg says he joins his wife and daughter to “carry their stuff.” Needless to say, the Hegg family was “blown away” with their gift from Freedom Star.201 Thank you Morrie Hegg for your service and to the Grangers and Freedom Star for your support of our veterans.]]>

Veterans Are A Welcome Sight At Road

Monday, May 23rd, 2016

212 Lee and Ginger Ashworth are from Beaverton, Oregon. Road 2016 was the 7th year in a row that they have visited Road. It is their tradition to come to the show. They like to see the “variety of quilts” and “talk to all the people.” Because they travel somewhere on Route 66 each year, they really enjoyed the Route 66 Special Exhibit in 2013. Ginger has been quilting for 25 years and Lee is a retired corporal in the US Navy.007 Jim and Cathie are from Ridgecrest, California. Jim also served in the Navy. He served for 22 years. Cathie has been coming to Road for the past 5 years with her guild, the High Desert Quilt Guild. One year, Cathie was in a wheelchair and couldn’t take the guild bus so Jim drove her to the show. He has been back to the show ever since.  This year, Cathie got the dates of the show mixed up and they accidentally came the weekend before!!! They decided to stay in Ontario for the weekend before heading home. Even with a rotator cuff issue and her right hip and left leg injured, Cathie and Jim returned the 128 miles one way trip so they wouldn’t miss the show. Jim says, “I like to support the quilter.” We are glad he does!!]]>

Meet Road 2016 Vendor: Southern California Quilts of Valor

Tuesday, February 16th, 2016

The Quilts of Valor Foundation was founded in 2003 in Delaware and is an ongoing national service effort whose mission is to “cover service members and veterans touched by war with comforting and healing Quilts of Valor.” The quilts serve as tangible reminders of appreciation and gratitude to service members and unequivocally say, “Thank you for your service, sacrifice, and valor.”

The Long Beach Chapter of Quilts of Valor is headed by Chairman, Barbara Winkler.

[caption id="attachment_3812" align="aligncenter" width="545"]quiltsofvalor-1 Barbara tore her tendons and had surgery on her foot before Road. Being in a wheelchair did not hold her back from sharing her group’s message!! Photo by Brian Roberts Photography[/caption] They have been a vendor at Road to California since 2007, meeting quilters and piecers, encouraging them to be a part of this great cause.  Of their booth, Barbara commented, “We get great exposure at Road, making connections from all over.” [caption id="attachment_3814" align="aligncenter" width="433"]quiltsofvalor-3 Photo by Brian Roberts Photography[/caption] The group also receives donations during the show ranging from quilt tops to selling raffle tickets for their opportunity quilt. The drawing for their opportunity quilt is held annually on Veterans Day at the Long Beach VA Hospital. During the year, Long Beach Quilts of Valor goes to various veteran events around Southern California, telling their story and presenting quilts. In 2015, they gave away 417 quilts to service members and veterans. At the time of Road 2016, they had already given away 134 quilts with 78 more being donated January 26th to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder sufferers affiliated with the West Los Angeles Veteran Hospital. Not every recipient requests a patriotic themed quilt; it can be a painful reminder of what they went through, especially with POW’s. For those instances, Quilts of Valor volunteers make quilts in a range of colors and themes such as animals or sports. “You never know what a veteran will request. Whatever type of quilt we make, it always finds its rightful owner,” remarked Barbara. No matter what the quilt looks like, all quilts given by Quilts of Valor are numbered. [caption id="attachment_3816" align="aligncenter" width="517"]quiltsofvalor-10 Photo by Brian Roberts Photography[/caption] Each year the Southern California Quilts of Valor in Long Beach sponsors a Sew Day at Lakewood High School. This year it will be held on Saturday, February 20th, from 9:00 AM until 4:00 PM in the school cafeteria. Between 50 and 100 students and parents are expected to participate in sewing quilts as a means to give back to the community.  Quilters from the community are welcomed to come assist the young sewers. Since the 10 years the Long Beach Quilts of Valor has been organized, they have given away over 3,480 quilts. In 2015, the chapter presented a quilt to one of the last survivors (at the time of the gift, there were only 9 alive at the time) of the USS Arizona that was sunk in Pearl Harbor. For Barbara, one of the most touching donations was to a veteran from the Korean War. “He told me he had waited 62 years for someone to say thank you.” [caption id="attachment_3813" align="aligncenter" width="555"]quiltsofvalor-2 Photo by Brian Roberts Photography[/caption] Are you interested in helping with Quilts of Valor? Until December 31, 2016, they are sponsoring “BE A STAR – FOR OUR TROOPS” Participants are asked to contribute two star themed quilt blocks every two months. The only requirements are the blocks need to be 12.5” X 12.5” (12” finished), one block must have the focus color/print as the star with white as the background and the other block must have the color/print as the background and white as the star. The remaining two month periods and their themes are:

March thru April: Blue                                    May thru June: Patriotic

July thru August: Gold                                   September thru October: Service Branch Specific

November thru December: Maker’s Choice

Long Beach Quilts of Valor will assemble the quilts, make bindings, and supply the backings. For information about this project, Sew Day at Lakewood High School, or Long Beach Quilts of Valor, contact Barbara Winkler at 562-925-7673 or email socalqov@aol.com]]>

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?]]>

Starting Road With A Salute To Veterans

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

Patriotism is important at Road.   

To highlight our involvement with Operation Homefront and Quilted in Honor, this year’s show is starting off with a salute to veterans.

Please join us on the showroom floor on Thursday, January 23rd, at 11:40 a.m., for a special presentation.

Colony High School in Ontario, California will start the program with their marching drum corps.Colony High School

Renown quilter (and entertainer) Jerry Granata will be singing the National Anthem. exhibits__i4c6098

The Mayor of Ontario, Mayor Paul Leon, will offer some remarksPaul Leon

Followed by representatives from Operation Homefront  andVeterans

Island Batik, the leader for the fundraising initiative, Quilted in Honor, of which Road to California is a sponsor.Quilted in Honor 

Following their remarks, Carolyn Reese will be presenting a specially made quilt to Vietnam Veteran, Ron Baker.

A special way to begin Road to California 2014.


And don’t forget to visit the Special Exhibit, Quilted in Honor, located in the Exhibit Hall. Being featured is a collection from top industry celebrities and quilters donated to support military families and returning veterans. At the exhibit, guests can purchase limited edition Road to California Commemorative Tote Bags,  designed with quilts from the exhibit. The bags cost only $8.95.  Part of the proceeds from the sale will be donated to Operation Homefront.  Limited Tote

See you at the show when we pay tribute to our wonderful veterans.