LACONIA — In 1978, when the Belknap Mill Quilters Guild was founded by 22 like-minded quilters, one of the goals of the guild was — and still remains to this day — charitable contributions to the surrounding communities.
Over the years well over a dozen charities have received funds and quilts from the guild and its members, which allow the guild to continue to achieve this goal.
In the recent past an opportunity was brought to the guild by Shirley Mento, a longtime guild member and active voice in the community.
Mento worked with the Spaulding Youth Center for a number of years in various roles. She had come to know that Spaulding had a need for quilts. At that point, guild member Diane Orlowski, head of comfort quilts, took the ball and ran.
Information was gathered from the Spaulding students as to favorite colors and themes. Then guild members were asked to "adopt" a student and make that child a very special quilt. As always, the members embraced this endeavor and created many wonderful quilts that the students would own and take with them as they moved on in life. This forged another beautiful partnership for the guild.
On Nov. 15, 2016, a group of guild members were invited to and attended the Spaulding Youth Center's Thanksgiving meal. At the gathering the Spaulding Youth Center presented the guild with a huge honor. The award reads: "The Arthur H. Nighswander Community Partner Award: In recognition of your ongoing support and assistance over the years that has provided the children at Spaulding Youth Center the opportunity to heal, learn, and grow in a safe and protected environment. We value and greatly appreciate our partnership."
The guild will proudly display this prestigious award knowing that it is because of all of the members of the guild and their efforts that made it possible.