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Sewers needed for project

By Stephanie Brault

Staff Intern

HOLYOKE If you are a practiced sewer, your skills are needed.

The Reserve Officers Association League (ROAL) of Western Mass. will be holding their third sew-a-thon for the troops on June 14 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Creative Arts Center at 400 South Elm St.

The sewers hope to make multiple recovery items, which include foot coverings to keep the soldiers' feet warm during transportation (since they cannot acquire socks); sacks for the wounded soldiers to use on their walkers or wheelchairs; and helmet liners, which will go to those troops who are still active. They also hope to complete blankets, which are necessary in transporting the wounded.

The League is coordinating its efforts with the requests of a medical unit from Westover Air Force Base stationed in Iraq. Their materials are all acquired through donations.

Jeanne Swindell, one of the coordinators of the sew-a-thon, said that their previous sew-a-thons, which were conducted in September 2006 and April 2007, were larger, but this time they wish to keep it on the smaller side. She hopes to have at least 40 volunteers, and says that the number of items made will depend on the number of people and their sewing speed and abilities.

When asked how many items they hope to make, Swindell answered, "As many as possible!"

It is preferred that volunteers be experienced sewers, as the project requires speedy work and is not really one for beginners. If volunteers can give a day or even a few hours to help out, please call Kimberly Babin at the Family Support Center at 589-0911, or send an email to Morning coffee and a light lunch will be provided for the helpers. Any time or efforts will be much appreciated.