ST. GEORGE - Quilters from near and far and quilt admirers supported sight-saving eye care for a Guatemalan mission Saturday at the St. George Parish Center.
The third annual Sewing For Sight Quilt Show includes a large homemade quilt show plus lots of homemade food and other attractions that are so popular with quilters, there is a waiting list to get into the show.
"I like coming here. It's a blast," said quilter Jean Prochniak of New Ulm. "It's really fun. They treat everyone like kings and queens."
Several dozen quilters and quilting consultants got valet service with their quilts and supplies when they arrived at the parish center early Saturday morning. Breakfast included homemade scones, banana bread and fruit. Lunch featured baked potatoes, marinated pork loin, steamed green beans and spaetzle. Desserts included homemade ice cream with chocolate syrup and homemade cookies. Sweet treats were distributed in the quilting area all day. A silent auction was held.
Organized by Ann and Cindy Wendinger and Jackie Forst, the event raised more than $6,500 last year to the Foundation for Saving Sight that sent two Hutchinson eye doctors to San Lucas Toliman, Guatemala to provide eye care and surgery to the needy.
"Through our many mission trips to San Lucas, we have seen many lives changed for the better...In the past four years, two general surgery teams have provided hundreds of general surgeries to patients who would never have been able to receive the care," Dr. Christopher R. Wallyn of Hutchinson wrote in a letter last March to the quilt show organizers.
A year earlier, quilt show donations of more than $5,900 helped doctors obtain a small supply of low-power lens implants that were needed for many of the congenital cataract surgeries.
"Two young patients with congenital cataracts were only able to have rehabilitation of their vision with these implants," Wallyn wrote in a letter to Ann Wendinger. "I know we all have a special place in our hearts because of the restoration of their human dignity and potential. With the help of your recent donation, we acquired a tonopen, which allows us to measure patient "eye pressure," which is particularly important after surgery and in diagnosing glaucoma."
Wallyn added that with the donations, he and other doctors who visit every six months can continue the work, called "miracles of love," by the Guatemalans, begun years ago by the Diocese of New Ulm and Father Greg Schaffer.
Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org