One million reasons

The proceeds from 20 years of the Festival of Quilts has enriched generations of young lives.

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A colorful graphic with totals from all areas of the Festival of Quilts and announcing total proceeds.

The proceeds from this year’s Festival of Quilts have given us one million reasons to celebrate, marking a significant milestone in the Festival’s 20-year history. This year’s event raised an impressive $77,817 (2nd highest total ever) and pushed us past the $1 million mark raised in our 20 years. Our community’s generous support continues to make a profound impact on our mission, enriching the lives of the youth and families we serve. So many of you have made this possible.

Ninety-year-old Bev Jones, a prominent figure in the Glen Carbon United Women of Faith community, had always been deeply involved in charitable endeavors. As a Past United Women of Faith District President and a former Cunningham board member, she had witnessed firsthand the power of community support in transforming lives.

This year, Bev found herself attending the much-anticipated Festival of Quilts with a renewed sense of wonder. As an avid quilter herself, she was thoroughly impressed by the exquisite craftsmanship and sheer abundance of quilts on display. However, her admiration was not just for the beautiful quilts; but more so the impact Cunningham is making on the lives of youth and families in the community.

During a campus tour, Bev was awestruck by the diverse range of programs Cunningham offered and the tangible difference it was making in people’s lives. “I can’t believe all the ways Cunningham is helping people in the community,” she shared, her voice filled with genuine admiration.

Meanwhile, the Nelsons, Urbana residents, found themselves drawn to the Festival by the numerous yard signs they had passed throughout the week. Intrigued, they decided to explore what the event had to offer. Little did they know, they would leave with the Black Wedding Ring quilt, featured prominently on the stage, becoming a cherished addition to their home.

Karlene Dude, a member of Normal First United Women of Faith, couldn’t resist the allure of a vintage quilt named “Cotton Candy Stars.” Moved by the spirit of giving, she promptly decided to donate it back to Cunningham, ensuring that a deserving youth would have a piece of comfort and warmth to call their own.

Festival volunteer posing in front of a quilt.

Sarah Rochnowski, who will be handed the Governor’s Volunteer Service award on April 25th by Governor J.B. Pritzker himself, exemplified the spirit of generosity and selflessness throughout the event, tirelessly assisting with various tasks over the course of both days.

Board President Claire found herself captivated by two quilts, each adorned with intricate details and the significance of their names, “Goodnight Irene” and “Queen of the Waves,” resonated deeply with Claire. The former, purchased for her grandson Desmond, held a special place in her heart as it’s the same name of the song his mother, Meredith, sings to him every night! The latter, bought for her granddaughter Luisa, celebrates her middle name which is Ocean.

Amidst the vibrant display of colors and patterns, it is the stories woven into each quilt and the stories that come from the Festival that makes this even one of a kind.

Whether you participated as a sponsor, a maker, a quilt buyer or purchased goodies from our bake sale, centerpieces or gift shop, we say THANK YOU for being part of a community that comes together to celebrate both tradition and transformation and helps to raise the critical funds for the youth and families that Cunningham serves.

A poster listing the sponsors of the 2024 Festival of Quilts