- Associated Press - Thursday, December 17, 2015

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (AP) - More than 100 quilts have been donated to the Heartland United Way in Grand Island that will be given to children through the annual Toys for Tots program.

The Grand Island Independent (http://bit.ly/1P94Eoq ) reports that fifty quilts came from Pat Rakestrow, who has been making and donating quilts for the past eight years. Heartland United Way director of development Bonnie Westfall says Rakestrow’s quilts will be go inside doll cradles made by Fullerton High School students.

Westfall says the dolls that will go inside those cradles are donated from a local Wal-Mart through the initiative of store manager Terry Holcomb.

“There are a lot of hands that go into making those presents,” Westfall said.

Another 75 handmade quilts were donated by the Prairie Plaines Quilting Guild. Guild member Susie Powell says the group’s president decides each year who will receive quilts.

Past recipients include Boys Town Shelter, a juvenile detention center in northeast Nebraska and veterans who are part of the transitional living program of the VA Medical Center in Grand Island.

Additional quilts were donated by a sewing group from First-Faith United Methodist Church in Grand Island, and a group who of quilters who meet up at the Salvation Army.

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Information from: The Grand Island Independent, http://www.theindependent.com

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