June 18, 2018
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Houlton raffle benefits breast cancer groups

Contributed | BDN
Contributed | BDN
WINNING DESIGN - Karen Fitzpatrick, co-owner of Daniels Florist in Houlton?s Market Sq. shows off her window design to display a handmade quilt to raise money for the Bridge to Hope Breast Cancer Awareness Walk. Kim Folsom, center, is an organizer of the walk on Saturday, Oct. 16. Pam Hocking, right, created the quilt with her daughter and credits local quilters who assisted with finishing work. Houlton Pioneer Times Photo/Elna Seabrooks
By Elna SeabrooksHoulton Pioneer Times, Special to the BDN

HOULTON, Maine — Soft, pink tulle is draped to reveal tiny white lights. Round, pink Chinese lanterns hang above heart-shaped balloons alongside vibrant fuchsia, silk gerbera daisies. Live, green plants interspersed among the tones of pink make the perfect, eye-catching setting for a handmade quilt hanging in Daniels Florist’s picture window.

The meticulously designed window display is a temporary home for the craftsmanship and effort going into a local fundraising project.

“Proceeds from raffle sales will go to the Bridge to Hope scholarship fund, the American Cancer Society and other local needs,” said Kim Folsom, an organizer for the Bridge to Hope Breast Cancer Awareness walk. “Scholarships will be awarded to Houlton, Hodgdon and southern Aroostook area students in the spring.”

Pam Hocking and her daughter Amy created the displayed oversized lap quilt in pink, brown and aqua. The quilt is backed with pink-ribbon fabric — the international symbol of breast cancer awareness. A label on the back says: “Lovingly hand made by Pam Hocking, Amy Hocking, Peggy Crane and Gayle Cyr.”

Hocking, a recent breast cancer survivor, expressed gratitude to other area quilters who supported the project: “Peggy Crane donated the long-arm quilting on her special machine. Gayle Cyr applied the binding and the hanging sleeve, which is all done by hand and is a very tedious, long job. So that was wonderful of her to offer her services.”

Once the quilt was done, Hocking needed a place to display it. Karen Fitzpatrick had no reservations.

“Pam was in the shop one day, and we got to talking about the quilt and how she didn’t know where to display it,” Fitzpatrick said. “And I said, ‘That’s one way I can help you out. I’ll hang it in the window.’”

Fitzpatrick said she went with the pink theme, and things fell into place. She already had pink tulle and other material, although she had to special order the pink balloons. She then incorporated lights and some green plants.

“I really wanted to display the quilt and the pocketbooks, but I thought, ‘I have to add a little touch around it.’ And that’s basically what I did,” she said.

Fitzpatrick also incorporated some of Hocking’s handmade quilted pocketbooks that she donates to the walk to raise about $20 each after expenses for materials.

“I lost a sister-in-law to breast cancer about 16 years ago. It’s very personal in our family’s heart,” she said.

“The window is beautiful,” said Folsom, a four-year survivor of breast cancer. “I was just very surprised when I saw it. Pam is my cousin and she made the quilt. It’s just breathtaking.”

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

The walk will take place Saturday, Oct. 16. Registration begins at 9 a.m. and the walk will start at 10 a.m. at the Riverfront Park. Participants can get sponsorships or simply come to support the group.

“We don’t turn anyone away,” said Folsom.

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