To All My Quilting Friends,

I know all of us are grieving and in shock ever since the attack of Sept. 11th. I lost someone very close to me and my family that day.

32 year old firefighter, Tommy Foley from Rescue 3, answered the call that day. He was just going off duty when the alarm came in, but he jumped back on the truck, along with his brother firefighters. And they never came back.

They are all true heroes.

The Foley family is the family that, each year since 1997, have sponsored a golf tournament in my deceased son's name. $25,000 has been raised in Bobby Rowell's name, with the money going to Canine Companions for Independence. The Foley's are the most giving and generous family I've ever known. Their deep faith is helping them through all of this, along with the love of their family and friends.

Maybe you too have lost someone you know and love. Well there is something we, as quilter's, can do. Something personal and lasting. My quilting teacher and great friend, AnnaMarie Tucker had a great idea. She wants to set up something she calls "Adopt A Firehouse." This is how it would work. It is starting with us and with one firehouse at a time.

Our group is adopting Rescue 3, Tommy Foley's firehouse. We want to make lap size quilts for each firefighter that was lost (8), and for each firefighter that survived (21). Because, as AnnaMarie says, the survivors are suffering too. One of the firefighters from Rescue 3 left behind four children under the age of six. So we would like to add four baby quilts as part of our gift. Our goal is to have this done by the end of April, and the quilts will be delivered in person to the firefighters. The Foley's will be hosting a get together in the summer for all the surviving firefighters of Rescue 3, and we are invited to present the finished quilts to them at that time.

If any of you, my talented quilting friends, would like to be a part of Rescue 3 "Adopt A Firehouse," please email or call to let me know, and I'll add your name to the list and give you all the particulars.

Or, if any of you would like to start your own group, adopting your own firehouse, email or call me and I'll give you another firehouse. My nephew is a Deputy Chief for the FDNY, and he is compiling a list for me of all the firehouses that lost men.

Another thing that can be done is to spread the word. Contact your local guilds, quilt shops, and other quilting friends. And then ask them to spread the word to all their friends and guilds. Ask a quilt shop to put it on their web site. I've already asked Quilter's Attic in Pine Bush to put it on their web page, and they said, absolutely. I am going to have a flyer made and I can mail them to anyone who wants to leave them at quilt shops, guilds, etc.

I know you'll feel great participating in this worthwhile cause.

Let's Roll

Colleen Rowell
25 Lorraine Road
Island Park, NY 11558