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St. James Hobby Club donates quilts to veterans

By Staff | Nov 18, 2014

ED?FRANKS In alphabetical order: Corine Beving, Cheryl Brant, Naomi Brewer, Cheryl Butler, Laurie Dockus, Betty Hassinger, J Jean, Irene Saffell, Helen Schottler, Sandy Tejera and Virginia Wagner.

In a matter of days, the St. James Hobby Club will be donating 23 quilts to Hope Hospice in Fort Myers. Hope Hospice is a facility that cares for veterans “when facing life’s final chapter.”

“Starting during the summer, the St. James Hobby Club makes quilts for our veterans,” Laurie Dockus said. “These are lap quilts that we design for both male and female veterans. A couple of years ago we began making most of them in red, white and blue.”

The St. James Hobby Club was started in 1962 by Ms. Dockus and a group of island residents.

“My mother was president back then,” Dockus said. The club is one of the longest continuously running hobby clubs in Florida. It was the Hobby Club’s founding members that spearheaded the need to form a community organization. Many remember the chicken dinners and covered dishes that raised the funds to build the St. James Civic Association.

“One year we will donate quilts to the American Legion, another to the VFW and this year to Hope Hospice,” Dockus said. “It’s not just quilts, we do several different crafts. There’s people that crochet, some that knit and we also cut coupons for the veterans that go to Cape Coral Veteran’s Hospital. It’s great way for all of us to get together socially.”

In the 54-year history of the club, the members have crocheted, knitted or quilted lap blankets for those in nursing homes and made stuffed animals, pillows and small blankets for children in the hospital.

Dokus said, “Someone once said the ‘purpose of our club is to promote friendship and the sharing of hobbies, crafts, card games and other creative ideas.’ Whether we come and clip coupons, make cards, cross stitch, scrap book, knit, crochet or just visit, we come because we care about each other, our community, and don’t want to miss an opportunity for ‘catching up.'”

The group meets every Wednesday from 9-11 a.m. at the St. James City Civic Association, 3300 4th Ave., St. James City.