Raffle Winner Puts Fitting Final Piece in 'Quilting Circle'

Published 06.22.2005


'Relay for Life' quilt is displayed by Davie Jane Gilmour, left, and Ann R. Durinzi.A memorial quilt poignantly crafted in honor of a local woman's valiant fight against cancer will stay near to the loving hands that created it, thanks to the thoughtfulness of a "Relay for Life" raffle winner.

The Pink Ribbon Quilt was handmade by Ann R. Durinzi, a Pennsylvania College of Technology alumna and retiree, who has contributed countless hours over the past several years in piecing together the annual "Relay" quilt to benefit the American Cancer Society. This year's creation was even more a labor of love, fashioned in memory of her sister, Jean R. Knowlden, who died in June 2004 after a courageous four-and-a-half-year battle with cancer.

While Durinzi selflessly worked to benefit the annual event more than $400 was collected she secretly wished the quilt would find its way home. She said she bought tickets for each niece and her brother-in-law in hopes that one of them would win and share the quilt with the family on a rotating basis.

Those hopes seemingly ran out when Durinzi drew another's name on June 18, which would have been her sister's 72nd birthday. The quilt was won by Davie Jane Gilmour, Penn College president.

"I tried all weekend to reach her, but it turns out she was out of town. On the way home from church, I finally reached her and gave her the news," Durinzi said. "I also told her that I knew it did not go with her decor, and offered to buy it from her to give to my nieces (my sister's children), since the quilt was dedicated to her memory.

"Davie was astounded that she won . . . (and) she decided to donate it back to me so I could give it to my nieces," the quilter added. "Isn't that just wonderful? I got tears in my eyes when she said she wanted me to have it for them."

For the college president, the decision was an obvious one.

"I feel very fortunate to have won, and I would be honored to have this beautiful quilt in my home," she said. "But there's really only one place it should be with the family."

More on Penn College's fund-raising efforts on behalf of "Relay for Life" is available here.