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Quilts of Valor – Area women sew so vets know they’re not forgotten

Give a group of women time, the material needed, room to work and a veteran to sew for and they’ll create a lasting memento that tells former soldiers their service was not forgotten or taken for granted.
A group of women from Glencoe and McLeod County meet regularly on the upper level of a quilt shop in downtown Hutchinson and create tangible gifts of appreciation for veterans. The women sew for the Quilts of Valor program, a national organization supporting veterans. Quilts of Valor has presented almost 200,000 quilts to veterans around the United States. Group of quilters from across the United States are submitting nominations for the national organization’s 200,000th donated quilt.
Women like Jeanne Pagel of Glencoe, Nancy Greve of Hutchinson and Vicky Harris of Silver Lake have made quilts for veterans who served their country during World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. Veterans who never saw combat are also among those who will receive a quilt. The trio is part of a larger group of quilters, some of whom have left Minnesota for warmer weather in the South.
“If they didn’t do all this work, we wouldn’t be able to do it for the veterans,” said Al Schochenmaier, a member of the Glencoe American Legion and VFW who coordinates the presentation of quilts to veterans.
The women have presented quilts to the oldest veterans first, former soldiers nearing the end of their lives so they can enjoy the quilts and the symbol of gratitude longer. Last June, the women presented a quilt to Art Ellanson, a 100-year-old World War II veteran. He passed away three days after the presentation.
“It’s a labor of love. We love what we’re doing and who we’re doing it for,” Greve said.

(For the complete story, see the Nov. 7 print edition of The Chronicle.)