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Quilters get special recognition

Members of Ironton’s Hospice Quilters show off one of the quilts made on behalf of the residents of Community Hospice Inc. Pictured clockwise starting at lower left are, Sue Holman, Hazel Vanover, Garnet Worthington, Susan Brown, Rita Smith, Angela Javins, Connie Pemberton, Sue Cahal, Wilma Cordell, Laura Willis and Marge Woodrum.

Community Hospice recognized a volunteer group of quilters, while celebrating the life of a loved one.

The Community Hospice in Ashland had its annual Valentine’s Day party. The organization recognized the volunteers for their work and dedication, while remembering Fannie Hatfield, who dies on Saturday.

“We wanted to honor them,” LuAnn Vance, director of volunteers, said.

Any patient that visits a hospice care center is given a quilt. Each month, quilters will bring new quilts to the care centers and they are placed in a closet, ready for the next patient.

Hatfield originated the quilters group in Greenup County, Ky.

“I followed Fannie to Greenup and joined their group for a year,” Connie Pemberton, a quilter said.

Pemberton said she quit going to Greenup because gas was $4 a gallon and the Russell/Ironton Bridge was closed. Hatfield called back a few weeks later and asked Pemberton to start a quilters group in Ohio.

“It was just meant to be, these are wonderful people” Pemberton said.

Ingram Fabric and Quilting provides space and material for the Ohio group to continue quilting. The women meet once a month. Some members bring one quilt a month, while others bring four or five quilts a month. They have 20 quilters, all on a volunteer basis.

There are four groups of quilters, the Ohio group, the Greenup County group, the Boyd County group and the Carter County group.

“It was Fannie’s dream that everyone who enters a hospice care center receive a quilt,” Vance said. “We have reached that dream.”

Since 2004, nearly 2,500 quilts have been given away, around 450 this past year alone.

For people who are about to leave this world, it gives them and their families a little comfort, Vance said.

Mandy Medinger, marketing/community outreach specialist, appreciates the volunteer work that takes place but also tries to clear up the misconception about the community hospice.

“The quilters do a great job, they work tirelessly to make the beautiful quilts,” Medinger said. “A lot of people think it (hospice) is for dying patients or cancer patients. We take care of patients and their families. We can come in and provide support and education months before the end of life.”