In 2017 and 2019, Road to California hosted special evenings for guests to share their time and talents in giving back to the local community. Their philanthropy activity, Roadies Give Back, allowed quilters – whether or not they attended the show — to participate in creating comfort quilts for cancer patients receiving treatment at the Robert and Beverly Lewis Family Cancer Care Center at Pomona Valley Hospital in Pomona, California. To date, almost 200 quilts from these Roadies Give Back activities have been donated to the center.
Robert and Beverly Lewis Family Cancer Care Center
Why was the Robert and Beverly Lewis Family Cancer Care Center chosen to receive the comfort quilts for cancer patients? Road’s Show Owner, Matt Reese, explained, “My mother, Shellee Reese, is the Administrative Director at the center where we donate the quilts, so it truly is all about giving back to the cancer patients in our area.” He continued, “Everyone has been touched by cancer in some way which gives this project even more personal meaning.”
Roadies Give Back is totally volunteer driven
Matt also shared that another reason Roadies Give Back is so special is because it “is fully organized and executed by some of Road’s volunteer staff members.” These volunteers take it upon themselves to get the word out to individuals and guilds about Road’s comfort quilts for cancer patients, distribute the block pattern, organize the collection of blocks and quilt tops, and oversee the Saturday night event where the quilts are put together and quilted. After the event, they arrange for quilters to finish any leftover quilts and of course, the best part, help distribute the comfort quilts to the cancer patients. One of the Roadies Give Back Chairwomen for 2019, Renée Hicks, commented, “This is something we wanted to get involved with because bringing comfort is a tradition of quilters.”
Delivering 2019 Comfort Quilts for Cancer Patients
Earlier this year, Road to California delivered the comfort quilts for cancer patients at the Robert and Beverly Lewis Family Cancer Care Center. Six patients personally received their quilts that day.
The rest of the quilts will be given out to patients throughout 2019.
Seeing the smiles on the patients’ faces is the best reward for this project. Merlie Pantaleon, a Registered Nurse and Manager of the Oncology Unit at Pomona Valley Hospital, has watched patients both years receive their quilts. “This program is such a great thing for our patients. They really love it and are really excited.”
Roadies Give Back for our 25th Anniversary Show
Due to the overwhelming success of this event, Roadies Give Back will be returning as one of the special events happening at Road to California 2020 – 25th Anniversary Show, January 23-26, 2020. The same team of volunteer staff members will be overseeing the project and are once again sending out a call for block makers, binders, and longarm quilters to assist in the effort. Matt hopes that quilt guilds and quilt councils will especially want to participate. “We can give a meaningful experience to the various charity groups and they don’t have to worry about the logistics of carrying it out.”
If you are attending Road 2020 and are interested in participating in the 2020 Roadies Give Back Special Event, register online at: https://online.roadtocalifornia.com/
Roadies Give Back 2020 will be using the same block pattern as last year. Anyone interested in making blocks for this year’s project can get started today.
How many blocks for our comfort quilts for cancer patients will you make for 2020?