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Quilters Guild gifts veterans

By CHUCK BALLARO - | Aug 18, 2020

James Cousins, a U.S. Navy veteran, receives his quilt from Nancy Leatherman, president of the Cape Coral Quilters Guild, during a Blessing of the Quilts event at the American Legion Post 90. CHUCK BALLARO

The Cape Coral Quilters Guild on Monday honored a group of veterans for their service to country with a labor of love.

One person from each of the five military branches (two from the U.S. Army) were given quilts during an honor quilt blessing ceremony Monday at the American Legion Post 90 in downtown Cape Coral.

Nancy Leatherman, president of the quilters club, said the event is typically held in March at the Presbyterian Church where the group meets, but the pandemic cancelled that.

“One of our members felt so strongly about it that she got the American Legion to host it,” Leatherman said.

Rebecca Sewell, director with the American Legion Riders and a member of the Legion board, asked if they could get some publicity by holding the event at the Legion.

“The Legion was so nice to allow me to have this event here. Last year, I received a quilt,” Sewell said. “We are a veteran-oriented organization. Every year I go to the VFW or the Legion to do this.”

Nicholas A. Napolitano Jr., post commander, said it was an honor to be asked to host the event.

“These women do a great job being involved in other organizations and quilting for veterans. It’s a pleasure to know there are that many women who will take the time and effort to create these.”

The Cape Coral Quilters Guild sews charity quilts for hospitals, firefighters and, for the past few years, has made patriotic quilts for the veterans.

The six recipients were:

John Peter Baker, Army, 1967-1973; Amy O’Neill, Army 1998-2003; Harlan Hummel, Marines, 1951-1957; James Cousins, Navy, 1955-1987; John Mulvey, Air Force, 1952-1992; and Joseph Germain, Coast Guard, 1960-1966.

All of them were honored to be the recipients.

“I was totally surprised. I don’t know how they kept it a secret from me, since I’m so active here,” Baker said. “It’s beautiful. I think they’re all beautiful and everyone who received one deserved it.”

“I love it. My wife told me a while ago and they called a couple weeks ago,” Mulvey said. “It’s really nice. It took a lot of hours for them to do this. I can use it when my wife throws me out of the house.”

“I felt honored. I had never gotten a quilt before, but I knew about the organization. I think they’re wonderful,” O’Neill said. “I feel like I’m blessed to have so much family around me. I love what I do and this helps me.”