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Supply and demand

Fabrics Plus owners honored for helping 97 volunteers make 2,000 masks

Photo by Jake Przytarski Legacy Foundation board members Brian Hart, Melissa Bruns, John Drown and Bernie Wing presented an award to Fabrics Plus co-owners Tracy Veglahn and Cami Nichols on Tuesday.

MARSHALL — The Legacy Foundation of Marshall presented Fabrics Plus co-owners Tracy Veglahn and Cami Nichols with a special award on Tuesday for their work in supplying 97 volunteer seamstresses with the materials needed to donate more than 2,000 masks to Lyon County health care workers and many others.

The 97 volunteer seamstresses were also recognized for their contributions with an individualized certificate on behalf of The Legacy Foundation. Volunteers who were unable to attend the ceremony can pick up their certificate at Fabrics Plus.

The Legacy Foundation founder John Drown, along with board members Melissa Bruns, Brian Hart and Bernie Wing were all on hand to present the award. The foundation — whose financial support allowed Fabrics Plus to donate its materials to volunteers — is an interdenominational group of Christian men and women seeking to “encourage and facilitate the legacy of Christ by inspiring believers to lead in their workplace, community and family.”

During the ceremony, Drown shared his appreciation for having the opportunity to work with the Fabrics Plus co-owners, and help so many in the community with the donations in the process.

“You have been leaders in our community. I just think that it’s so important that we recognize that because the Legacy Foundation was just extremely pleased to be able to afford the opportunity to say ‘OK, let’s give them as much money as they need, lets do this particularly for the senior citizens in Marshall and Lyon County,'” said Drown. “And we did stretch out to more than just Marshall we were spread throughout Lyon County.”

Drown read a poem by Ella Wheeler Wilcox called “Three Things” that he feels is exemplified in the work done by all involved. Drown went on to tell a couple of personal stories of the appreciation he’s been shown by the community for their work in donating masks.

“The health care industry overall with folks at Avera, I had a visit with some of them. They felt it was a labor of love and the folks on Health Street and the folks from the Hospice House felt it was just a wonderful thing to have,” Drown said.

“I was stopped on the Minneota Golf Course, this was maybe two to four weeks ago by a guy who told me how much he appreciated the fact that we did this because his mom is in the Hospice House. He said his mom had tears in her eyes and said how much she appreciated that the staff got these things and gave her safety and mental security.”

The mask donation effort began in March, and ever since then Fabrics Plus co-owners Veglahn and Nichols have been hard at work gathering materials and coordinating pickup times with the volunteer seamstresses. Veglahn admits that its been challenging at times but rewarding to get to see the appreciation shown by those picking up their mask.

“At first it was just exhausting. There were times that it was emotionally exhausting. People made us cry several times because people would bring in stuff from their sewing room to donate,” said Veglahn.

“It was just such a wonderful outpouring of community effort. It was really heart-wrenching, but we were just so happy when we’d be able to call an organization and say yes we’ve got masks for your group, come and pick them up and seeing their appreciation was just fabulous,” she said.

The selfless work done by Veglahn and Nichols extends beyond the mask donations as the two have been actively involved in making baby blankets for Avera Marshall, Purses for Africa to help girls stay in school and have worked with Quilts of Valor. Quilts of Valor is a nonprofit organization that provides quilts to veterans.

Veglahn said the quilting community has a long history with community outreach programs and are always seeking ways in which to help those in need.

“Quilters have a long history of helping each other and providing for community needs,” Veglahn said. “We’ve done other volunteer activities. We work with the Quilts of Valor Foundation, and so there’s many different groups in the community that are more than happy to step up to do something that they love and provide good at the same time. It’s an easy thing to do.”

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