04 October 2007

"A very special day"

A modern-day "quilting bee" at Ascension Catholic Church in Bowie, MD where 168 blankets for wounded and ill troops were made in 5 hours by approximately 100 volunteers.

"A very special day."

That's how long-time Soldiers' Angels member Matt Dick described this past Saturday when over 100 volunteers converged at Ascension Catholic Church in Bowie, MD to make blankets for the wounded and ill troops at Landstuhl Medical Center in Germany.

Looking at these photos Matt's wife Lisa sent to me, I couldn't agree more. I had called in to give a "pep talk" to the group (during which I of course choked up) and could hear there were lots of people there, but I never imagined anything like this.

Among the volunteers were Ascension Parishioners, Jr. Girl Scout troop 570 from St. Pius X Regional school in Bowie, MD, families from St. Pius and Sacred Heart Catholic churches in Bowie, MD, 2 local Boy Scout Packs from Bowie, MD, and many community members.

Mrs. Bates (seated) encourages her group to keep up the great work.

A den leader gets help from Alyssa Burkhart age 6.

"We had people travel an hour from several cities away just to help out," said Lisa Dodson, who organized the event together with her husband Matthew Dick and with lots of help from their three daughters Amanda, Colleen and Kylie.

The husband and wife team say they couldn't have done it without the help and expertise of Valerie, Alyssa, Ashleigh, and Abigail Potter, a fantastic Mother & Daughters team. Flyers, advertising and many other things critical for the event's huge success were done by Maureen Barber.

Girl Scout Jr troop 570 Bowie, Maryland. Standing left to right Jacquelyn Peters, Megan Snider, Joanna Snellings, Gabi Nelson, Kiersten Baker, Mary Fitzpatrick, Brenna Baker, Samantha Friskey seated left to right Summer Cratty, Janine Corley, Rachel Stewart, Colleen Dick, Elizabeth Allen.

College students Ashley Pezeshkian and Amanda King work with supervision from Kylie Dick age 4

The goal was to beat the 47 blankets made at a similar event last year. But when the group had 168 blankets at the end of the day, even Matt was surprised.

"I had no idea that the response would be so great, the community really came through with the materials and labor to make the blankets. Everyone had a good time, and many have been inspired to join Soldiers' Angels and volunteer for this and other opportunities. It was a very special day"

4-year-old Kylie Dick gives perspective to the blanket pile.

After being blessed by Father Calis of Ascension Church the blankets were packed up and will be on their way to Germany shortly.

On behalf of our wounded warriors at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center I'd like to thank Lisa and Matt for their leadership, the rest of the organization team for their efforts, and all of the participants for their patriotism and their sense of community service.

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