Mantua – Nora Brandt makes quilts. Her self-described “addiction” began with a request made by her eldest daughter Meghan, who passed away at age 26 from ovarian cancer. Initially, her first creations were given to the newborn children of Meghan’s friends, so that even though Meghan couldn’t be there herself to hold them, they would have a tangible gift to represent her love.
In the 15 years since Meghan’s death, Brandt has continued her mission, making beautiful one-of-a-kind quilts not only as gifts for fortunate friends and family, but for worthwhile causes ranging from ovarian cancer research to local scholarships. In fact, some of her latest quilts will be raffled to benefit Family Literacy Night at Crestwood Primary School on March 5th.
When Brandt heard a request to support that special night made during a recent church service at the Mantua Center Christian Church (MCCC), she felt compelled to participate. “As the youngest of six kids, I grew up without a TV,” Brandt explained. “So at home, we read — a lot. I still remember how it felt when I sounded out a difficult word all by myself in my own book. The word was ‘afternoon,’ and when I figured it out, it was as if a light went off in my brain. At that instant, I realized I could read anything, and the world opened up for me.”
Wanting to help get books into the hands of Crestwood students and open up their world, Brandt created four unique quilts — one for each grade level at Crestwood Primary School — to be raffled off at the family event. The colorful quilts depict characters from well-known Dr. Seuss works, including the Cat in the Hat, The Lorax and The Grinch. Beth Trivelli, Crestwood Primary Principal, was blown away by the gift. “I’m constantly amazed and delighted by the support our school receives from the local community. We’re fortunate to be surrounded by such talented and caring individuals like Nora that help support our kids.” Trivelli went on to explain that proceeds from the raffle will help to purchase Dr. Seuss books, with the goal of providing one for every student who attends the event.
In addition, Mantua Center Christian Church, Hiram Christian Church, Hilltop Christian Church and Brighter Day Church will each be providing volunteers, refreshments, books and financial donations to contribute to the event’s success. Chad Delaney, Pastor of MCCC, stated “We’re grateful to be invited into the school. Family Literacy Night is a natural extension of our free preschool story time program, and a great way for us to help children and families in our community.” The event is also generously supported by local organizations and businesses, including Kohl’s Department Store in Bainbridge and McDonald’s of Mantua.
To attend Family Literacy Night at Crestwood Primary School, mark your calendar for March 5th from 5:30 – 7 pm. The event, scheduled to commemorate the birthday of Theodor Seuss Geisel (Dr. Seuss), will highlight his contributions to children’s literature. Although admission to the event is free, each family who attends is asked to bring a non-perishable food item to donate to the 4Cs.
At the event, families will listen to stories, play games, make crafts, and share goodies that explore the wonderful world of Dr. Seuss. Winners of Nora Brandt’s handmade quilts will be announced at the end of the evening, although winners need not be present. Tickets are available for $1 each or 6 for $5 at Crestwood Primary from 8 am to 4 pm each school day through March 5th. For more information about the event, call the school at (330) 357-8202.