Nestle salutes area veterans with quilt blocks

OSCEOLA COUNTY – Area veteran organizations will add a whole lot of red, white and blue to the Osceola Quilt Trail this summer as Nestle Waters North America honors veteran groups with star-spangled quilt blocks.

VFW posts in Reed City, Evart, LeRoy/Tustin and Marion will receive the blocks for their meeting facilities.

The quilt trail currently boasts over 80 giant, painted quilt blocks on barns, businesses, public buildings and other structures throughout the county – part of a fast-growing national public art movement that engages area residents in making art and celebrates our rural heritage.

“Each block tells a story and the Trail allows us to share those stories, whether it be that of an early homesteader or depicting a feature of our community,” said Elsie Vredenburg, OQT Coordinator.

“There are currently a handful of patriotic red, white and blue quilt blocks on the Quilt Trail, but with the addition of these four blocks, we’ll really show our pride in our country and in our neighbors who have served,” added Vredenburg.

Nestle Waters North America, the largest bottled water company in the United States, features natural spring waters from Evart Spring under the Ice Mountain label.

“Ice Mountain is so pleased to support the Quilt Trail, the beautiful quilt blocks, and the promotion of our rural heritage,” said Ice Mountain senior natural resource specialist Arlene Anderson-Vincent. “We are especially pleased that the quilt blocks we are sponsoring will honor the men and women who bravely served our country and the cause of freedom everywhere,” he said.

John Tenney, commander of the Marion Area Blue Mountain VFW Post, said he and his fellow veterans are excited about the project.

“Our members are very enthusiastic about having a quilt block on the Trail. We appreciate the Quilt Trail and what it means to our area. We’re ready to help paint.”

Quilt Trail volunteer Cindy Cambier said the possibility of a quilt block for a VFW hall in Marion was first discussed a couple of years ago.

The partnership with Nestle made the option possible for not only the Marion VFW but also three other halls.

“I am really glad we were able to partner with Nestle to make it happen – not only for Marion, but for the VFW Posts in Evart, Leroy/Tustin and Reed City as well.

“We are looking forward to painting the quilt blocks with area veterans, their families, and anyone else who wishes to honor those who serve and have served our country in the armed forces,” Cambier said.

The blocks are a free gift for the four VFW posts and blocks are currently being worked on. Designs will not be unveiled until the blocks are placed on each VFW post, Cambier said.

Anyone interested in participating in the painting of the blocks, which will be done at the Parkhurst Studio in Marion, should contact Cambier at (303) 552-6517 to schedule a painting session.

“We love to have community members participate in painting the quilt blocks,” said Cambier. “There are no special skills required and we have enjoyed painting with 9-year olds and 90 year olds. Put on your paint clothes and join the party!”

The Osceola Quilt Trail is affiliated with the Osceola League for the Arts and Humanities. Learn more about the popular trail by visiting www.osceolaquilttrail.org.