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Pillows will comfort patients

Brenda Willard (center) helps other Club members stuff the pillows which are being made for patients at Baystate Medical Center's Comprehensive Breast Cancer Center. Reminder photo by Sarah M. Corigliano
Wilbraham Junior Women's Club begins annual 'comfort pillows' project, plans for fund-raiser

By Sarah M. Corigliano

Assistant Managing Editor

WILBRAHAM The Wilbraham Junior Women's Club met last Tuesday at Wilbraham Middle School. The mood in the school's sewing room was energetic as members got organized for what is one of their two biggest meetings of the year.

In addition to a regular business meeting, and planning for their upcoming fund-raiser, "In Good Taste," sewers and non-sewers alike came together to make and stuff comfort pillows for women being treated for breast cancer.

The fact that the activity was taking place in the Sharon Lopata memorial sewing room was also not a coincidence. Wilbraham Junior Women's Club President Lisa Vartanian explained that Lopata was her sister. Several years ago, she said, Lopata began the Club's project of creating "comfort pillows," and a few months later was diagnosed with the disease herself.

Lopata passed away four years ago. In her memory, the Wilbraham Junior Women's Club renovated Wilbraham Middle School's sewing room, and they continue sewing the pillows there to support other women fighting the disease.

The finished pillows are given to the Comprehensive Breast Cancer Center at Baystate Medical Center, and funds for the supplies to make them were given by a grant from Rays of Hope.

The Wilbraham Junior Women's Club is a non-profit organization that promotes civic and cultural interests in Wilbraham and the surrounding communities. All funds raised are given back to the community through scholarships, special projects and donations. Some of the many recipients include the Baystate Medical Center Comprehensive Breast Cancer Center, Hampden-Wilbraham Regional School District, Habitat for Humanity, The Gray House, the Tri-County Survivial Center, the YWCA and the Wilbraham Senior Center.

More to come ...

Their annual fund-raiser, "In Good Taste," will take place March 25 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the YMCA on Boston Road in Wilbraham.

The evening will include a sampling of fine beverages and foods from local area vendors. Preparing some of their specialties for sampling will be area restaurants such as The Student Prince, Bella Piatti, Horizons, Johnsen's Catering, Indulgence and Simone's. A sampling of wines will be available from Riverdale Liquors, a beer tasting from Berkshire Brewing Co. as well as vodka tasting from V-One Vodka.

There will also be an olive oil tasting from Harrington Trace.

The evening, sponsored by the Gaudreau Group, Kitchen Encounters and Vartanian Custom Cabinets, will also feature a silent auction and raffle prizes.

Items up for grabs include, but are not limited to, a helicopter ride and lunch at The Black Pearl in Newport, RI; autographed sports memorabilia; Boston Celtics tickets; lunch with Gale Candaras; a family membership to the YMCA; an overnight stay in New York and tickets to The View and a lobster dinner for six, delivered; and more.

Music will be provided by Sergio Castellanos and Amanda Powell. Tickets are $25 per person and can be purchased by calling Lisa Vartanian at 596-2742; or from ay Wilbraham Junior Women's Club member.