Quilt for a Cause: A History 

Jeanne Coleman and Carol Zupancic, co-founders of Quilt For a Cause.

Tucson quilters, under the leadership of Jeannie Coleman (formerly Beahan) and Carol Zupancic and with 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 California 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 501(c)(3) organizations: The American Cancer Society and the Tucson Medical Center Foundation’s Joel Childers M.D. Fund. 

That was a beginning.  Fifteen years later, Quilt for a Cause, Inc. (QFaC) continues to sell donated handmade quilts to raise money for the treatment of breast and gynecologic cancers. 

Since 2003, there have been four more auctions. Additionally, QFaC sponsors a variety of fundraisers and offers original patterns for sale.  Along with grants and donations, these efforts have QFaC closing in on one million dollars raised to help organizations serving patients with breast and/or gynecologic cancers.

To date, QFaC has provided about $372,000 to Tucson Medical Center Foundation which over the years has been used for the Joel Childers Teaching Series, purchasing and updating surgical center equipment and breast cancer screening and treatment for underserved women. 

St. Elizabeth’s Health Center provides diagnosis and treatment for underserved people in southern Arizona.  QFaC has donated $154,000 to assist in the care of their GYN patients.

Additional funds have supported the work of the Women’s Division of the Cancer Center at UMC (research), Arizona Oncology Foundation, El Rio Health Center, the American Cancer Society, the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition-Tucson Chapter, Tucson Cancer Conquerors and BAG IT!  QFaC, a 501(c)(3) organization, is proud of its record of donating 95% of all funds raised.

Quilt for a Cause, Inc. is an entirely volunteer organization with a Board of Directors consisting of up to nineteen people.  In 2013, many original Directors decided to retire.  Before doing so, they sought people to replace them.  These Directors became affectionately known as “the new Board,” taught and nurtured by “the old Board.”  The fifth auction was scheduled for 2016.  At five years in, “the new Board” is no longer new and Quilt for a Cause is flourishing. 

Quilt for a Cause, Inc. thrives with the help of almost 1,000 quilters, both women and men, who make and donate quilts for QFaC to sell.  These quilters are from Arizona, more than 25 other U.S. states, Canada, Italy, the United Kingdom and more.  Also, creative people design quilts and write patterns that QFaC sells.  Local organizations support QFaC efforts with grants, donations and publicity.  Since inception, Tucson Quilters Guild has been a continuous and valued supporter.  Local quilt shops including The Quilters Market, Cathey’s Sew and Vac and Cactus Quilt Shop continue to offer support.  Recently, QFaC has expanded and begun receiving support through quilt donations and fundraising opportunities from the Arizona Quilter’s Guild based in Phoenix. 

2018 Philanthropy recipients and Quilt For a Cause Directors

In 2018, QFaC partnered with Tucson Botanical Gardens for our first long term exhibition and sale.  The four-month exhibition resulted in sales of over 160 quilts and many boutique items.

In 2012, Jeannie Coleman and Carol Zupancic were inducted into the Arizona Quilters Hall of Fame honoring their work as co-founders of Quilt for a Cause.  The organization received a “Spirit of Philanthropy 2017” award on National Philanthropy Day after being nominated by St. Elizabeth’s Health Center.  Quiltfolk magazine, honored Quilt for a Cause with a feature in its 2018 issue on Arizona. 

In 2017, co-founder Jeannie Coleman passed away.  QFaC and the Tucson quilting community remember her and appreciate the spirit of giving that Jeannie embodied.  Jeannie retired from the Board of Directors in 2013 but continued to encourage and be a resource for the continuing work of Quilt for a Cause. 

We invite you to explore this website to purchase quilts and patterns and to learn about our upcoming events.  Watch for news about our 2019 auction.  Also, find information on how to donate to QFaC and help us fight breast and gynecologic cancers. 



Comments are closed.