The Block Island Times

Debbie Howarth wins the Block Island Quilt

Tried for 20 years to win
By Steve Hollaway | Dec 09, 2013
Photo by: Steve Holloway
Sometimes patience pays off. Island resident Debbie Howarth has been buying tickets for the Block Island Quilt for at least two decades, but she never expected to win. “I never win anything,” she said. “I never have.” And after all, there were about 2,000 tickets sold for the drawing.
But on Sunday, Dec. 1, when Harbor Church Clerk Martha Ball reached into the large jar containing all the tickets, most of them bought by visitors to the island, she pulled out the winning name of Debbie Howarth. Martha immediately exclaimed, “This is great! It’s Debbie Howarth! But now our revenues will go down,” Ball joked, “Because Debbie has invested in so many tickets over the years.”
This is the second year in a row that an island resident won the quilt; last year it was Marlee LaCoste.
The quilt is a fundraiser for Harbor Church, generating $9,834 this year for the church’s operations. The volunteer quilters include church members and other friends from the community. Eleanor Garrett did three squares and the center map, while Beverly Sniffen did the four corners.
Individual squares were designed and stitched by Lois Bendokas, Sandy Greenman, Becca Hollaway, Rheba McKernan, Karla Sargent, Sally Stephens, and Jean Taber. Ann Fagan put the quilt together with assistance from Marie Shepherd, and finished the quilt. Bill Penn was the number one ticket seller this year, displaying the quilt at the Farmer’s Market.
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