Quilts donated to local vets

By Tamie Meck

Quilts donated to local vets | Hotchkiss, veteran

Photo by Tamie Meck Area veterans pose for a group photo after receiving quilts, made by S&B Quilters, Saturday at Memorial Hall in Hotchkiss. In all, 26 veterans received a quilt. The guild is collecting the names of area veterans for future quilt giveaw

Members of the S&B Quilters' Guild continued their tradition of presenting quilts to veterans by giving out more than 25 quilts to local veterans during their Nov. 14 meeting. A short program honoring veterans included a singing of "God Bless America."

Each of the 26 veterans in attendance was introduced by emcees Wanda Goforth and Sallie Waldron, and asked to share something about their service. Most served during the Vietnam and Desert Storm eras and in the Iraq War and in Afghanistan. A handful were veterans of the Korean Conflict. Some served for more than 40 years, including Bill Wason, who recited the Johnny Cash poem "Ragged Old Flag" before veterans selected their quilts.

"This is our way of honoring and saying thank you to these veterans for their service," said S&B Quilters' Veterans' Quilts co-chair Connie Barry. "It's just a way of saying thanks for our freedoms."

Richard Walton served in the U.S. Army from 1986 to 1990 and said that many members of his family are veterans. Walton didn't know he would be given a quilt when he was invited to the event. "It was a nice surprise," said Walton, who chose a red, white and blue quilt for its big blue stars. Walton said he would likely give the quilt to his dad, who was unable to attend the event. He served between the Korean Conflict and the Vietnam War, said Walton.

Hotchkiss Elks Lodge #1807 donated funds to purchase supplies the last two years, said Barry. Quilters made more than 50 quilts for the giveaway. Remaining quilts will be cached for next year's program. The guild also gives quilts to veterans in local nursing homes.

This is the second year quilts went to local veterans. Prior to 2014, quilts were donated during the annual National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic in Snowmass. Guild members voted two years ago to focus on the Delta County area.

The guild's 100-plus members represent Delta, Montrose and Mesa counties, as well as Iowa and New Mexico. They're already working on the 2016 quilts and meet the second Saturday of each month at 9 a.m., at Memorial Hall. Drawing for their annual quilt raffle is Dec. 5. This year's quilt is an original design by member Vicki Jones, worked on by 18 guild members, and quilted by Gale Smith. Tickets are $1, with all proceeds going to the guild's educational programs.

The guild keeps a list of known veterans in the area and is seeking to identify others, said Barry. Veterans or family members of veterans are encouraged to contact the guild to get on the list for 2016. For more information, email sbquilters1989@gmail.com, or visit www.orgsites.com/co/sbquiltersguild/.