From OHC

August 12, 2021

quilt square close up

In Lake County, Florida sits a community clubhouse where the Little Lake Harris Quilters gather for their Monday morning meetings. The group’s members are snowbirds who are skilled in both quilting and embroidery, often raffling off their masterpieces and raising thousands of dollars for various causes. OHC is soon to be a beneficiary of the Quilters’ kindness.

So, how does a cancer practice in the Cincinnati, Ohio region end up on the receiving end of a grand gesture from a quilting group in Florida? Let us introduce you to Mary Small and her compassionate family. Mary, who resides in Florence, Kentucky, spends the winters in Little Lake Harris, Florida, and does embroidery as Vice President of the Quilters. A mother of two, grandmother of four, and soon-to-be great grandmother of four, Mary learned how to embroider as a child from her grandmother. Beautiful quilts adorn the walls of her home as well as those of her children. Mary and her fellow Quilters have lost 11 members of the group to cancer. Many were residents of Boone County, Kentucky.

Mary’s son, Robert, makes repairs at area hospitals and noticed OHC’s office location in the medical building on campus at Mercy Health-West Hospital. After learning about OHC’s work and mission, he shared this information with his family. His sister, Debbie Tripp, had collected several cancer awareness-themed neckties from a series that Kroger had been selling throughout northern Kentucky. She thought the quilters could use the tie fabric to create a quilt.

Sure enough, Joyce Penrod, Secretary of the Quilters, ripped open each tie, laid them flat, and got to work on hand-quilting a queen-sized work of art. She completed the quilt in six months and agreed that it would make an excellent fundraising raffle item to benefit cancer patients.

“We typically sell raffle tickets for one of our quilts every month and raise $500 for each quilt,” said Mary. “It can take a year to make one quilt.”

Tickets for the cancer awareness quilt benefitting OHC patients will be sold for $1 each at the SamJam Bluegrass Festival at the Pike County Fairgrounds in Piketon, Ohio which takes place September 1-5. The drawing will occur on the last day of the festival. Rita Small, Robert’s wife, is the Festival’s announcer and has her own country music radio show. She will promote ticket sales throughout the event.

OHC financial navigators will use proceeds from the quilt raffle to assist patients experiencing hardship. Patients at all OHC locations, Blue Ash, Clifton, Kenwood, Fairfield, Hamilton, Green Township, and Eastgate, are blessed to be beneficiaries of many wonderful supporters like Mary and the Little Lake Harris Quilters.

Top picture: Little Lake Harris Quilters Mary Small (left) and Bonita Maddox display the quilt up for raffle. Bonita, a cancer survivor, lost her husband, Robert, to cancer last year.

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