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Celebrity quilt raises money for Fahrney-Keedy's

April 11, 2007|by JANET HEIM

BOONSBORO - As more than 300 squares of muslin fabric were mailed to celebrities across the country, the hopes of an energetic fundraising committee at Fahrney-Keedy Retirement Village near Boonsboro went along for the ride.

Betsy Miller, an administrative assistant at the retirement village, called the idea for a celebrity quilt an "inspiration from God."

After the idea came, Miller assembled a committee of 23 residents and volunteers, ranging in age from 65 to 95, who worked tirelessly to see the project through.

The committee was motivated by their cause - raising money for the Fahrney-Keedy's Benevolent Fund. The fund helps residents in financial hardship pay their bills.

"Sometimes, financial planning falls short. These are residents, they're family. You wouldn't ask family members to leave your home," Miller said.

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The committee met and brainstormed to whom to send letters and quilt squares. With 324 separate letters - some to celebrities with more than one mailing address - Miller said the committee had been hoping it would get maybe as many as 10 to 20 quilt squares returned with autographs.

The first two squares came back within a week's time.

And, what began as a trickle, escalated as the daily U.S. mail delivery brought more and more celebrity autographs and photographs to Fahrney-Keedy.

The committee received 90 squares and used 87 of them in quilted creations. Two of the signature squares were received too late for the quilting and one was illegible, Miller said.

Of the 87 squares used, two are from TV host Regis Philbin, who returned both squares sent to him at two different addresses.

Others include movie actors Charlton Heston, Elizabeth Taylor, James Earl Jones and Lauren Bacall, country music singer Hank Williams Jr. and TV talk show host Montel Williams, to name a few.

With such an outpouring from the celebrities, the seniors decided to create one large quilt and four smaller-themed wall hangings.

Each square was catalogued as it was received and a group of five committee members has taken on the task of compiling scrapbooks for each quilted piece, with information on each celebrity included, as proof of authenticity of the signatures.

The committee is auctioning the quilted items on Internet auction site www.UBID.com. . Bidding will last for 14 days, unless one of the celebrities requests an extension, Miller said.

For more information, call Miller at 301-671-5016 or e-mail her at bmiller@fkmh.org

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