The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

August 18, 2013

Quilters make donation to VA


DANVILLE — Patients in the Palliative Care Unit at the Veterans Affairs Illiana Health Care System have some colorful quilts to keep them warm. The quilts were made by members of the Orchard Hill Quilting Club in Covington, Ind., in response to a request from the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

In photo, from left to right, front row, are: Paul Bockelman, network director for VISN 11 (Veterans Integrated Service Network); Janice Elwell, quilter; Emma Metcalf, director, Illiana System; Lois Ellmore and Jane Lesko, both quilters; and Karie Drollinger, Sheila Clark and Annie Cleveland, all Palliative Care staff.

In back row, from left to right, are: Bob Sprouls, chief of Recreation Service and acting chief of Voluntary Service; Pam Dodson and Susan Borgia, both Palliative Care staff; Ray Nasser, VFW representative; and Tracy Meyers, Wendy Zimmerman and Darius Wallace, all Palliative Care staff.

Several months ago, Nasser asked Drollinger what the unit needed most, and she said some nice quilts. Nasser then asked Ellmore, who is well-known for quilting, if she could ask women to make a few quilts.

Ellmore and Lesko presented their quilts recently, while Elwell’s quilt is nearly done.

“We have an excellent Palliative Care Unit,” Nasser said. “The décor is made as much homelike as possible. All the staff is very caring and concerned about the welfare of our palliative care vets.”

When a veteran dies, staff covers his or her bed with a flag, and puts a lantern and candle on tables in the room. It is a very solemn occasion, he said.