Hancock Fabrics donates $1.1 million to St. Jude

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital (ALSAC)
Sunday, 19 October 2003

Kids who dream of fishing with friends, swimming with dolphins and finding a cure for cancer are among the many St. Jude patients who inspired thousands of quilters across the nation.

More than 3,500 quilts were made by Hancock Fabrics customers and employees for the second annual Quilt of Dreams promotion and more than $1.1 million was raised to help in the fight against childhood catastrophic diseases. Hancock CEO Larry Kirk and representatives Melody Good and Donnie Lesley were on hand to present the donation to Marlo Thomas, daughter of St. Jude founder Danny Thomas.

The promotion, which began May 2003, is a nationwide fund-raising effort in Hancock Fabrics stores. During the promotion, quilters were asked to produce lap quilts for the children of St. Jude. The quilts were produced using one-of-a-kind fabrics based on the artwork of patients receiving treatment at the hospital. The fabrics were sold in Hancock Fabrics stores with 30 cents of the purchase price per yard coming to the hospital.

"We were overwhelmed with the growth of the program in just the past year," said Kirk. "Our customers and employees have spent many hours creating their quilts. Each one comes with a special story and personal touch. Each is a work of art and a labor of love for the children at St. Jude."

Last year, more than 750 quilts were donated and $502,000 was raised for the hospital. St. Jude patients in Memphis, as well as patients receiving treatment at St. Jude's four domestic affiliates and 17 international clinics, will be given the quilts specially made for them. FedEx will handle all international shipping free of charge for the hospital. St. Jude will also use the quilts for additional fundraising efforts to support the hospital.

After receiving the quilts, Hancock judged them for uniqueness and best use of theme in five categories for customers and five categories for Hancock employees.

Kris Oleson of Fredericksburg, Virginia, won the Best of Show–Grand Prize Customer for her quilt Beyond the Colors featuring the dream of St. Jude patient Briana Brennan. Brinana's dream is to have rainbows.

Patient Macy Morgan chose Hancock's national winners for Patient's Choice Customer and Patient's Choice Employee, choosing a customer quilt created by Lynne Navarro of Casper, Wyoming, and an employee quilt titled Princesses by Brenda B. Stamey.

Briana received the rainbows quilt and Macy was given the customer quilt. Other customers winning national awards were: Helen Peel of Irving, Texas, for Most Original, Customer; Gretchen Crozier of Fremont, California, for Best of Theme, Customer; and Deborah Scott of Kirkland, Washington, for Judge's Choice, Customer.

Hancock employees who won national recognition were: Audrey Ginsburg of Denver, Colorado, who won Best of Show–Grand Prize Employee, Annie Beard of Lauderdale, Mississippi, for Most Original, Employee; Kim Cornelius and Patti Castellion of Depere, Wisconsin, for Judge's Choice, Employee; and employee group, The Blockheads, from Fayetteville, North Carolina, for Best Use of Theme, Employee.

Hancock has already begun planning for next year's promotion. New St. Jude patient dreams are being gathered and new fabric created. The 2004 promotion will begin in May.

To view the first place and national winning quilts, log on to www.quiltofdreams.com.

For more information, or to contact St. Jude Children's Research Hospital (ALSAC), see their website at: www.stjude.org

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