From one of our Regional Coordinators:
Saturday January 24th, 2015 Comfort and Healing was served on a Patriotic Platter of “Welcome Home” as 34 Veterans where awarded Quilts of Valor.
The South Bay Blue Star Moms - Sewing Stars and the Silicon Valley QOV State Coordinator Jerilyn Lightfoot and assistance from the Community all partnered together to put on the Second Annual Quilts of Valor Ceremony held at The Santa Clara American Legion Post 564.
34 Recipients where honored (those in attendance) and where awarded their life-time Quilt of Valor for their service to our Nation (WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Gulf/Iraq/Afghanistan).
The American Legion Hall was transformed by the patriotic display of QOV encompassing the room and walls. Recipients and their guest where greeted by Blue Star Moms. Many guests learned about QOV for the first time. On hand was a Vintage Featherweight and Sewing items to show the quilting process and literature. QOV banners and posters where everywhere!
Cathy Crowder was the Master of Ceremonies and was assisted by SBBSM QOV Group Leader Ida Henscheid. Ida’s Core QOV team where introduced Cathy Crowder, Debbie Parks and Jerilyn Lightfoot. Gloria Cervantes lead the invocation. Harvey Mayhill was the keynote speaker and gave an outstanding, dynamic speech addressing the veterans and legacy and importance of the Quilts of Valor and our mission today. Harvey applauded the military families and proudly awarded his personal lifelong friend Dr. Andrew Froumis his QOV. The QOV recipients where indeed Welcomed HOME after his speech! Jerilyn spoke about the quilting process introducing the audience to quilting terms comparing them to military acronyms. She spoke about the value of community assistance and thanking local supporters, schools and actively recruited members to join QOV in order to meet increasing need for QOV. Jerilyn handed Harvey a QOV called “California Dreaming” and requested him to find a recipient and award it in South Carolina.
The most exciting part of the day you ask? – Awarding Recipients their lifetime QOV. The room was aglow and the smiles and cheers brightened and touched our very core. Quilts we worked on, touched, loved and knew so well … parted from our hands then magically bonded to their new rightful owner.
A special Quilt of Honor was also presented to Gold Star Aunt Bev Hromec her nephew was Army Captain Ian. P. Weikel, KIA Balad, Iraq April 18, 2006. She was deeply moved and embraced by those in attendance.
Group photographs where taken amidst the cheers of the men and woman all wrapped up in their Quilts of Valor. No two alike, yet HONORED brothers and sisters in arms. United.
Guests where then invited to a reception elegantly prepared and hosted by members.
The South Bay Blue Star Moms are an amazing group comprised of not only Blue Star Moms but they also have “man – sewers” and students and regular folks in the community who care and help sew. This group is solid and very talented and dedicated. In fact, it might not surprise you that this particular group has become a collaboration model of partnership; as they are both Blue Star Moms (BSM) and QOV Group members. As the need for care packing is dwindling down, BSM are expanding finding new ways to support their community. What better way than to thank a veteran and support active duty military. This group should be recognized as they are a role model by which other BSM groups and QOV groups can form alliances in 2015. I’m also proud to serve, and sew along the side of them as one of their Blue Star Mom Sisters and as their QOV State Coordinator.