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Quilts of Valor presentation honors Canadian military service members in the Lakeland

In a heartfelt display of appreciation and gratitude, volunteers are gearing up to present veterans and active members of the Canadian military with Quilts of Valor this Sunday at 1 p.m. at 784 Wing Cold Lake.

This event organized by the Quilts of Valor Canada Society, aims to honor the sacrifices and service of these individuals with handmade quilts crafter by volunteers from across Alberta and beyond.

Monique MacInnis, one of the volunteers spearheading the initiative, expressed her enthusiasm for the project, stating, “Sunday, myself and another volunteer Bonnie Jo-Clarke, will present some veterans and active members of the Canadian military with a quilt of valor.” She emphasized the significance of the quilts describing them as “a thank you and a hug from all of Canada for their service, their time, and their sacrifices.”

“I am honoured to be part of it, and I found out through my husband. I nominated him for a quilt,” MacInnis continued, shedding light on her personal connection to the initiative. She emphasized the importance of community involvement in the nomination process, highlighting the role of family members, coworkers, and friends in honouring the recipients.

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Another dedicated volunteer, Bonnie Jo-Clarke, a cadet officer, echoed MacInnis’s sentiments, underscoring the significance of showing appreciation for the often-unseen sacrifices made by military personnel. “For me, showing appreciation for the military foes so much,” she remarked. “The Canadian forces have so much that we won’t see.” Jo-Clarke emphasized the power of the quilts as a tangible symbol of gratitude, stating, “Thank you. We appreciate what you’ve done. It’s a beautiful thank you, and they can wrap it up and hug them to further appreciation.”

The Quilts of Valor initiative traces its roots back to 2006 when a local Edmonton quilter, Lezley Zwaal, presented quilts to three Canadian Armed Forces members recovering from injuries sustained in Afghanistan. Inspired by the profound impact of her gesture, Zwaal went on to establish the Quilts of Valor Canada Society with a mission to recognize and comfort injured Canadian Forces members.

Since its inception, the Quilts of Valor Canada Society has garnered widespread support from volunteer quilters nationwide. Thousands of quilts have been lovingly crafted and presented to recipients coping with visible and invisible injuries. These quilts serve as a tangible expression of gratitude and support from individuals, groups, and guilds nationwide, reflecting a collective appreciation for the bravery and commitment of Canada’s military personnel.

As Monique MacInnis aptly summarized, “Just a little bit of acknowledgement and recognition and getting these quilts… it’s just a huge pat on the back, and it goes a long way.” With the upcoming presentation ceremonies, MacInnis, Jo-Clarke, and fellow volunteers aim to thank those who have served and sacrificed for their country, ensuring their contributions are never forgotten.

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