Quilt for a Cause: A History
Tucson quilters, under the leadership of Jeannie Coleman (formerly Beahan) and with the support from the Tucson Quilters Guild, Inc., first organized a “Quilt for a Cause” fundraiser on the Tucson Medical Center campus on November 15, 2003. Quilters throughout the state of Arizona, as well as quilters in Califonia and other western states donated a total of 208 handmade quilts that were auctioned to raise $53,000.00. The proceeds were divided evenly between two Tucson 501c3 organizations: The American Cancer Society and the Tucson Medical Center Foundation’s Joel Childers M.D. Fund.
In 2006, we did it again. Overall, 545 donated quilts raised approximately $120,000.00; expenses were kept to less than 1%. The Women’s Division of the Cancer Center at UMC received $63,000 with funds restricted for breast & gynecological cancer research. The Tucson Medical Center Foundation received $55,000 for a digital specimen radiography system and $8,000 to help uninsured women under 40 who have had a mastectomy with breast surgery construction.
Donations, fundraisers, grants, and the sale of 284 beautiful quilts at the Silent/Live Auction held at the Tucson Medical Center on Saturday, October 3, 2009 raised $113,000. More than 600 quilters participated from 30 States and 3 Provinces of Canada. The proceeds from the Auction were distributed between the Tucson Medical Center Foundation and St. Elizabeth’s Health Center.
The Tucson Medical Center will be using their portion to fund the Joel Childers Teaching Series ($35,000) for training OB/GYN doctors from around the country on the latest surgical procedures, breast cancer screening ($10,000) for uninsured and underinsured women, and with the remaining $46,000 to be spent on updating or purchasing equipment for TMC’s GYN state of the art surgical center. St. Elizabeth’s Health Center will be using their portion towards helping their patients with breast cancer procedures.
In March 2013, $125,000 was raised from our fourth Quilt Auction and other fundraisers throughout the year to fight Women’s Cancers. The recipients were: Tucson Medical Center Foundation ($107,141) and St. Elizabeth of Hungary’s Health Center ($26,500). Quilts donated for the Auction were received primarily from members of the Tucson Quilters Guild with others coming from 25 states, Canada, Italy and the United Kingdom.
Over the past 11 years, four quilt auctions have taken place at TMC and more than a quarter of a million dollars have been raised for women’s cancers within the Tucson area. The success of these auctions could not have been successful without the generosity of everyone involved.
Quilt for a Cause was incorporated in July 2004.
Quilt for a Cause President Jeanne Coleman has been awarded the Tucson Citizen’s “Unsung Hero” award. Read the article by Sheryl Kornman.