In stitches

Friends of CIH’s First annual Quilt Auction draws near

T-R PHOTO BY MIKE DONAHEY Friends of Central Iowa Healthcare volunteers stand over quilts on display at the CIH Outpatient Center. The volunteers recently hung 32 quilts to promote the April 21 Friends of CIH Quilt Auction to benefit patient services.

An explosion of colors and eye-catching designs generated by 32 quilts, now greet patients and guests as they enter and make their way through Central Iowa Healthcare’s state-of-the-art Outpatient Center across from Marshalltown Community College.

All will have a chance to enjoy the kaleidoscope through the evening of April 21.

From traditional quilts to placements to baby quilts to runners, there is something for everyone.

However, beginning a 6 p.m. the excitement begins with The Friends of Central Iowa Healthcare’s First Annual Quilt Auction also at the Outpatient Center.

Talented quilt-makers from throughout CIH’s service region contributed quilts large and small.

They will be judged by Heidi Kaisand of Conrad, owner-operator of Hen & Chicks Studio.

Before opening the business, Kaisand served as editor for American Patchwork & Quilting for more than 20 years. She also judges at the Iowa State Fair.

The quilt makers and attendees will be anxiously awaiting her decisions.

Best of Show earns $500, second place $250, and third $150.

Regardless who takes home the top three prizes, it is CIH patients who will be the big winners, as all quilt auction proceeds will be applied only to patient care.

For nearly 65 years, funds from Friends fundraising initiatives, such as the annual pot pie sales, have been used to help purchase a new ambulance, wheelchairs, a blanket warmer, free mammography gifts, I-pads for pediatric patients needing diversions from painful procedures, and many nursing scholarships.

Additionally, funds have been used to construct the east-side courtyard and “Tribute to Caregivers” statue, both downtown.

Featured will be the raffle of a striking 2016 Iowa State Fair judge’s choice winner, donated by CIH Volunteer Coordinator Beth Reyes.

The 94” x 94″ quilt has special meaning.

“I started the quilt several years ago, and put it away for personal reasons,” said Reyes. “I resumed later.”

“Pictures of all quilts will be available on the CIH Facebook page next week,” said Sue Garrels, a Friends board member.

The event is open to the public.

Tickets are $15 and may be purchased at the Outpatient Center, Hellberg’s Jewelry, The Chalet, Willard’s Furs and Fashions, and the CIH Gift Shop at the downtown campus.

Tickets may also be purchased from any member of Friends.

Board members are Susan Eberhart, Garrels, Karen Giarratano, Anne Paullus, Josette Peterson and Barb Rasmussen.

Musical guests will be the Lincoln Highway Band.

Beverages and appetizers will be available.

Event planning started approximately two years ago, when Friends and Reyes attended an all-day conference about successful hospital auxiliary fundraising.

At the workshop they learned of a successful quilt auction in Cresco.

“A Cresco volunteer shared information about their quilt auction — a tremendous fundraiser with a 40-year tradition.” said Reyes. “She told us we might expect 10 quilted items the first year, and that would be a good start.”

The Friends were originally known as the Evangelical Deaconess Hospital Auxiliary, established Nov. 1, 1952, according to T-R archives.

Later, the Mercy St. Thomas Hospital Auxiliary, which was formed Sept. 5, 1952, joined forces with The Evangelical Hospital’s Auxiliary (formerly Evangelical Deaconess Hospital Auxiliary) in 1970, when the two hospitals merged to become the Marshalltown Area Community Hospital.

In 1985, MACH became Marshalltown Medical & Surgical Center, and the organization was renamed MMSC Auxiliary.

For more information, contact Reyes at 641-754-5151.