By Pam Tucker
Fort Detrick FMWR
What started out as red, white, and blue fabric in Frederick has managed to touch hearts and souls close to home and seven thousand miles away as a Quilts of Valor Project.
On June 2 four quilts were presented to Wounded Warriors at a ceremony in Fort Detrick’s Resiliency Garden with the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare, and Recreation presiding. Four students from Frederick County Public School’s Career and Technology Center planned and coordinated the SkillsUSA community service project which has created and shipped over 30 quilts since the local project began in September 2010.
Under faculty advisor Dawn Franzese’s guidance, CTC students Owen Levine, Elaina Previte, Hayley Rogers, and Carli Stone spearheaded the Quilts of Valor Project that received outstanding school-wide support.
Many classrooms planned quilts using their own fields of study for the design. Over 350 students and 30 staff members spent more than 1000 hours designing and working on quilt tops that were sent out for completion, many quilts being finished locally by volunteers in Urbana and Walkersville.
After the quilts were completed, they were returned back to the CTC and with Quilts of Valor direction, packaged and sent to military hospitals to comfort wounded service members. Levine, a 2011 Thomas Johnson graduate, said, “It is such an honor serving our injured military members overseas and helping make them happy.”
The patriotic fabric for the quilts was donated by local businesses and individuals. Since most of their project quilts were sent overseas to comfort wounded service members, it was extra special for the team to personally present their quilts to Soldiers. With the DFMWR’s assistance and planning, three of the four quilt recipients were able to join in the ceremony. The fourth recipient was not yet able to travel to Fort Detrick.
Rogers, a 2011 Brunswick graduate and future Hood College student said of the project, “It was really surprising. I didn’t think we could pull it off. Teamwork was such a major force in the project’s success.” According to Rogers and her fellow organizers, the CTC students are still interested in working with the project.
Three students, Levine, Previte, and Rogers will present their Quilts of Valor Community Service Project in Kansas City later this month at the National SkillsUSA competition for Community Service. The Maryland SkillsUSA Champion will compete against teams from more than 30 states and territories. By qualifying for the Nationals, these students are ranked in the top 2% of career and technology students in the nation.
“It is amazing that even though we don’t know them (the injured), we are somehow still connected,” stated Previte, a 2011 Middletown graduate who will attend Frederick Community College in the fall. “I didn’t know this project would go this far and that we would end up in Kansas City in June.”