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Quilters piece together long-term alliance

February 23, 2012
By Kathleen Palumbo , Town Crier correspondent

With a perpetual fervor for service to church and community, members of the ladies association have continued to gather for decades, sharing their time and talents.

Honoring the continuity of the group, the Ladies Aide Quilters of Austintown Community Church recently gathered in the Fireplace Room of the parish where they celebrated their 90th birthday.

According to information provided by Brad Bloomster, the church's director of ministries, the only prerequisites for membership in the Ladies Aide Quilters are nimble fingers and patience.

Article Photos

Photos by Kathleen Palumbo, Town Crier correspondent
Pictured with one of their quilts in progress, Vera Orosz, Joyce Shood, Esma Elliott, and Debi Winland recently joined in the 90th birthday celebration of the Ladies Aide Quilters at Austintown Community Church.

Originally called the Ladies Aide Society, the group was formed March 9, 1922 for the purpose of raising funds for the church through various projects, and fundraising for the church building fund.

"This made possible the burning of the final note at the dedication of the church in 1924," said Bloomster.

Over the years members have become quilters and today they raise funds making quilts, quilt tops, and baby quilts for the public, and the occasional quilt for a raffle.

Meeting weekly, the women gather to quilt each Wednesday in the church fireplace room, breaking for lunch and fellowship.

Joyce Shood, who has been with the quilters since 1985 said she has over the years adjusted her participation as her lifestyle and schedule allowed, returning a few years ago.

"I never forgot the good times we had... the fellowship," she said.

Sharing that she enjoys sewing, Esma Elliott, a member since 1988 said, "After I retired, this is what I wanted to do."

Funds raised last year from quilting were donated to various charities, which, according to Bloomster, included the Need Room and utilities of the church, Second Harvest Foodbank, Salvation Army, and Sojourner House, in addition to donating a full-size quilt and two baby quilts to the Rescue Mission.

In addition to Shood, Elliott, and Orosz, current members of the Ladies Aide Quilters, include Sue Macias, Shirley Dull, Nancy Locke, and Debi Winland, only some of whom are members of Austintown Community Church.

Just as the size of the group and attendance vary from week to week, so does the amount of time necessary to complete a quilt, however, members estimate the effort to take approximately two months. The ladies also sew three-feet-by-five-feet baby quilts, which they make available to the public for $35 each.

Members of the group welcome skilled quilters or individuals who would like to learn, and encourage anyone interested in either membership or the purchase of a quilt to contact Elliot at 330-799-4759 or Orosz at 330-533-3814.

Whatever the needs or interests of the individual, with their combined efforts, the talented, giving women of the Ladies Aide Quilters have got it covered.



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