CHADRON – Veterans from the Vietnam and WWII eras were honored with 16 quilts Friday in the Chadron State College Student Center Ballroom. Erica Fisher, who organized the event, delivered two additional quilts to veterans unable to attend the ceremony.
Volunteers who made the quilts ranged in age from elementary school to adults.
Family Consumer Science professor Dr. Yvonne Moody and students in her Alteration and Construction class (FCS 135/135L) created one quilt top and Monique Jensen of Alliance created another. The other class members are: Karli Ferry of Osmond, Neb., Ashley Heelan of Lewellen, Neb., Shanie Hollenbeck of Estilline, S.D., Amanda Kolen of Chadron, Mickenzi Loyd of Big Piney, Wyo., Kyla Monie of Arapahoe, Neb., Christina Morris of Juneau, Alaska, Courtney Smith of Hampton, Neb., and Jade Spring of Custer, S.D.
Other FCS majors made refreshments for the event.
CSC students who are also enrolled in ROTC participated in the event as the Color Guard. They are Justyn Curtis of Richmond, Ind., Evan Oakley of Strasburg, Colo., Tristian Short of Prince Frederick, Md., and Sam Vanderheiden of Omaha, Neb.
Lt. Nathan Reicks, who directs the ROTC program, said the detailed work in the quilts and the time it took was outstanding, especially considering the young age of some of the quilt makers.
Several quilts were also donated by the non-profit organization, Quilts of Honor based in California. Fisher said she researched possible connections to help make the program a reality and discovered Gail Belmont, the founder of Quilts of Honor. The two stayed in contact for months and Fisher said she was pleasantly pleased by the support she received from Belmont.
Retired CSC employee and Vietnam veteran Darrell Marshall was pleased with the event and the quilt he received.
“This was a fantastic deal. I really appreciated the gift. It was awesome to have young people welcoming us home,” Marshall said.
Veteran Stacy Swinney, was also impressed.
“It’s unlike anything I’ve been to, heard about or seen before. These young children worked hard on these quilts. There were a lot of smiles on faces tonight,” Swinney said.
Fisher, who plans to start a new round of quilt making in January, expressed her gratitude for the many volunteers who participated. Her sons and daughters were among those who made the quilts.
“I think this was a great way to teach our kids patriotism and what it is to serve others,” she said. I hope the quilts will touch all the hearts of the veterans. All these quilts were made with love. This has been a learning experience and I couldn’t have done it without anyone who helped,” Fisher said.
Photos of the ceremony are below.