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Woman patches together fund-raising quilt for school

December 31, 2001

Woman patches together fund-raising quilt for school



By ANDREA BROWN-HURLEY
andreabh@herald-mail.com


WILLIAMSPORT - Students at Fountain Rock Elementary School near Williamsport kept 87-year-old Dorothy Poffenberger in stitches for the past two months.

Almost 200 of the school's 285 students gave Poffenberger patches of fabric to craft into a 30th anniversary quilt. The 210-square quilt will be raffled in February to raise money for the school.

Poffenberger, whose great-grandson Jordan Leatherman attends fifth grade at Fountain Rock, hand-stitched the hexagonal patches together to create a quilt blanketed with designs ranging from sunflowers to tiger stripes.

Some students donated cloth covered with elephants and frogs and cows and rabbits. Others pitched in patches with football team logos and polka dots and stars and hearts.

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Poffenberger started cutting and piecing the varied patches together in October and finished the quilt just before Christmas, she said.

She signed a corner of the quilt in pink thread with her initials and the date.

"It's pretty neat," said student Marlie Walker, 10, who gave Poffenberger plaid patches for the quilt.

Julie Harsh, 7, said she hopes proceeds from the quilt will buy more school supplies for students. Raffle ticket sales will likely fund cultural events at Fountain Rock and help pay for more computers at the school, PTA President Randy Leatherman said.

When PTA members came up with the idea of a quilt to commemorate the school's 30th anniversary and raise funds for the PTA, Leatherman quickly recommended "Nanny" Poffenberger - his wife's grandmother - as the creator, he said.

"I thought it was a nice idea," said Poffenberger, who sewed her first quilting stitch at age 10. She worked in the local garment industry for years, she said, retiring from her job as a seamstress in 1977.

Soon after, she set up the quilting frame she inherited from her mother. That frame, made from an old bed, has remained in use at her Rohrersville home for the past 24 years, Poffenberger said.

"I just love to quilt. I love working with my hands," she said.

Poffenberger quilts at the Brownsville Church of the Brethren twice a week to benefit disaster relief funds. She made wedding quilts for each of her six grandchildren, and quilts to commemorate the births of her seven great-grandchildren. The recipients of Poffenberger's quilts usually order more, said her granddaughter, Barbara Leatherman.

"I don't know how many I've made ... probably close to 500. I've been quilting a long time," Poffenberger said.

The Fountain Rock PTA is now selling quilt raffle tickets for $1 each or six for $5. The tickets can be ordered by calling the school at 301-766-8146 or by mailing a check to Fountain Rock Elementary School PTA, 17145 Lappans Road, Hagerstown, MD 21740.

The winning ticket will be drawn during the school's Sweetheart Dance on Feb. 15.

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