La Verendrye Auxiliary and quilting guild bringing special showcase fundraiser

By Ken Kellar
Staff writer

The La Verendrye Hospital Auxiliary in teaming up with the Cabin Country Quilt Guild and Betty’s of Fort Frances to host a special two-day fundraising event all about the joys of quilting.

Scheduled to run Friday, October 13, 2023 and Saturday October 14, 2023, at the Zion Lutheran Church in Fort Frances, the Stitches Quilt Display is a fun new way to collect funds while also helping to showcase the craftsmanship of local quilters.

Auxiliary member Marnie Cumming said that when it came time to put on another fundraiser to help support the hospital and local health care, the auxiliary wanted to do something a little bit different from a sit down tea luncheon.

“For years, we’ve done a full tea, but post-COVID, attendance is going down, and so we’re looking for something to spark interest,” Cumming explained.

“We’ve decided for the first time, we haven’t done this before, to run this kind of event. We’re partnering with this quilt guild, which is a guild that has been in existence apparently since the 70s and is a group of 20 women who get together about once a month to share their skills and learn, just like-minded folk coming together.”

The event will therefore be a come and go fundraiser, with some refreshments available and many different quilted items on display for visitors to see and enjoy. Cumming noted the plan is to take over the entire church with quilt displays, and not only the kind someone might be expecting if their only experience with quilting is the hand-me-down blanket from their grandmother.

“The whole sanctuary is going to be full of quilted items,” she said.

“[The guild members] think they’ll have about 75 to 80 items, and said they’ll have a handful of heirloom quilts, baby quilts, bed quilts and other quilted items like runners, all sorts of things. They’ll also have some seasonal things for fall and running up to Christmas.”

The set-up will also include Betty’s of Fort Frances, who will be on hand with a display of the different sewing machines they carry, as well as some of their other quilting fabrics and materials.

While so much of the event is a bit different from other Auxiliary fundraisers, Cumming noted there will still be some staples like a bake sale and penny table. Additionally, the Auxiliary have been selling raffle tickets for a grand prize draw of a handcrafted quilt donated by the Country Cabin Quilter’s Guild, along with a second-place prize of a Janome 1522PG Sewing Machine donated by Betty’s, and a third-place prize of a $100 gift certificate to The Flint House, along with a bottle of wine, donated by The Flint House.

As with all of the Auxiliary’s events, money raised through the various happenings at the Stitches Quilt Display days will go directly towards purchasing equipment for the hospital. Over 70 years, Cummings said, the Auxiliary has donated more than $1.6-million dollars to La Verendrye, and this event is just the members continuing on with that good work. Beyond supporting local healthcare though, it’s also an excellent opportunity to see the results of the hard work and dedication put in by quilters from throughout the district, and could even entice others to explore their crafty sides as well.

The Stitches Quilt Display fundraiser will run from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Friday, October 13, 2023, and again from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 14, 2023, both days at Zion Lutheran Church in Fort Frances. Admission is $6 and everyone is welcome.