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Posted: 07/23/14

Seen above is the second prize for the raffle, titled "Barns." The winning tickets will be drawn Sept. 20 at Washington Township Park.

(Observer photo by Chris Gray)

Samaritan House quilt
raffle honors Civil War

Observer Staff Writer
      A historical quilt is up for grabs with the Samaritan House's ninth Heirloom Quilt Raffle.
       The Samaritan House is holding its annual Heirloom Quilt Raffle from now until Sept. 20, with the top prize commemorating the War Between the States.
       Jo Hearon, a volunteer with the Samaritan House, has designed the quilts since the fundraiser began. This year's design, called "Civil War Tribute," is based on patterns seen in the Civil War era.
       "We were looking for old, old patterns that would've been available then," she said. "I think back in the Civil War days they weren't nearly as elaborate in their patterns as they are today, so simple probably was better."
       The queen-sized quilt was put together by a group of 10 quilters that volunteer each year, hailing from Armada, Bruce Township, Macomb Township, Romeo, and Shelby and Washington townships.
       Linda Willen, a Samaritan House board member and quilter, chose the theme this year. She said the theme was inspired in part by a donation of reproduction fabrics, but also from the Civil War's 150th anniversary.
       "It probably took us three to four months to complete because we don't quilt every day," she said. "I think it's beautiful, the blocks used were adaptations of Underground Railroad blocks."
       Gloria Keenan of Shelby Township donated Civil War era reproduction fabric. The blocks were re-purposed and combined with new blocks of patterns that would have been used in the mid- to late-1800s.
       "It's beautiful," she said of the quilt. "I couldn't do anything like that, and it's a blessing the girls got to do it, they're all good."
       The second prize for the raffle is titled "Barns," an appliqu├ęd wall hanging quilt that features patterns of colorful barns.
       This is the ninth year for the Samaritan House's quilt raffle, with proceeds donated to the continued operations of the non-profit organization. Since the fundraiser began in 2006, it has collected $32,000, enough to purchase three month's worth of food for 1,500 clients.
       Pamela Zendt, Samaritan House executive director, said alongside donations, fundraisers like the quilt raffle are an integral part of how the Samaritan House can serve its clients.
       "All of our fundraisers are important, that is how we survive," she said. "We like the ones that are steadfast and can count on them, which this has been."
       The quilt will be displayed at Graubner Library for the next couple of weeks, at local churches over the weekends and at the Peach Festival.
       Next year's quilt is already in the works, as it will not only celebrate 10 years of the heirloom quilt raffle, but will commemorate the Samaritan House's 20th anniversary. Willen said the quilt will incorporate hearts and pink colors to match the non-profit's logo.
       The drawing will be held Sept. 20 at the Washington Township Park behind the Washington Lions Club on Van Dyke. Tickets are $5 each or $10 for three.
       Samaritan House is a non-profit organization in Washington Township that assists families and individuals in northern Macomb County with food and shelter assistance. It receives financial support from 15 local churches, grants and fundraisers like the quilt raffle.
       For more information, call 586-336-9956 or visit

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Retrieved 7/31/2015 at 9:26:51 PM.
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