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Saranac Lake Elks present quilters with national grant

Ray Monroe, treasurer of Saranac Lake Elks Lodge No. 1508, presents Judy Vaughn of the Mountain Mama Quilters a $2,500 Elks National Foundation Freedom Grant award. Seated are quilters Diane Loeber and Diane Reandeau with Lisa Tubridy, lodge secretary, who submitted the write up for the award. (Photo provided)

SARANAC LAKE — The Saranac Lake Elks Lodge No. 1508 presented the Mountain Mama Quilters with a $2,500 Freedom Grant award on Sept. 30 for the work the quilters do to deliver service-specific quilts to the veterans at St. Joseph’s veterans residential center in Saranac Lake and Mercy Care in Tupper Lake.

The Freedom Grant is a grant under the Elks National Foundation. The mission of the ENF is to help Elks build stronger communities by investing in communities where Elks live and work. The Freedom Grant specifically is intended to meet the needs of today’s veterans and military members.

The quilters began making the quilts in 2016 modeling their approach after lap robes for veterans started in Syracuse. They have since presented more than 110 quilts to veterans at St. Joe’s and Mercy Care.

Each quilt presented is a full-size quilt and incorporates the veteran’s service-specific emblem into the quilt. The quilters meet regularly to volunteer their time to sew and tie quilts and present the quilts to veterans throughout the year. Each quilt’s material cost is approximately $80. All labor and much of the material requirements are donated by the Mountain Mama Quilters. Saranac Lake Elks are proud to join the Adirondack Leathernecks of the Marine Corps League to provide continuous financial support to this caring group of ladies who love veterans.

“Our goal for this project is to simply demonstrate that Elks care and Elks share to our veterans and their families that are under care at Mercy Care and more specifically, to a growing population of veterans that have been impacted by their war time service” said Lisa Tubridy, Elks lodge secretary.

“For the St. Joseph’s veterans specifically under treatment,” she continued, “we hope that the gift of a quilt is an integral part of their sustained recovery expressing the community’s gratefulness and embodying our hope and prayers for their full recovery.”

“We have found much joy in making quilts for the veterans at St. Joe’s and Mercy Care,” noted Diane Loeber, leader of the Mountain Mama Quilters. “Many of us have friends and family members who are veterans. We know they have done so much for us all and we want them to know how much we appreciate the sacrifice of service each one has given for their family, friends and our country. As we present the quilts to them, their grateful smiles and hugs of appreciation are evidence of their joy for the recognition of their contributions.”

She added, “We also express our deep appreciation to the Elks Club for the Freedom Grant contribution, and the continuous support from them and the Adirondack Leathernecks of the Marine Corps League.”

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