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Quilt shop event boosts animal group

By Joel Hall

jhall@news-daily.com

For pet lovers who love quilts, Saturday will be a day to mark on their calendars.

From 9 a.m., to 12 p.m., on June 6, Quilts and Fixins in Jonesboro will host its annual benefit for the Clayton County Humane Society. During that time, the shop will sell hundreds of unique, pet-themed items, handmade by local quilters.

Items for sale will include quilts, shirts, tote bags, cell phone holders, purses, place mats, pet blankets, and other items fashioned with cat and dog motifs. All of the proceeds will benefit the Clayton County Humane Society, a rescue shelter at which no animals are euthanized.

While the shelter has rescued hundreds of local cats and dogs from extermination, the shelter operates completely on privately-donated funds, according to Gwen Lyle, development and community outreach coordinator for the Clayton County Humane Society. While the society raises its own funds throughout the year, it is often not enough to cover the cost of food, vaccinations, medical care, and heart worm treatments for the animals, she said.

"Our costs are high," Lyle said. "Because of the economic downturn, people are turning in animals at higher rates than ever before. The only way we can continue to do the work we do is to continue to have these fund-raisers."

Jeanne Lowery, owner of Quilts and Fixins, said this year will be the fourth year in a row that the shop has hosted the fund-raiser. She said the fund-raiser is one of the shop's most popular events, raising $7,300 for shelter last year.

"We work on these quilts all year long," Lowery said. "We had such a good sale last year, that we knew we had to start early. Seventy-three hundred dollars is a drop in the bucket for taking care of these animals. I can't do what they [at the Humane Society] do, but we can do this and it helps. There are no expenses taken out of this ... everything is donated."

Lowery said this year, there will be 150 quilts for sale, as well as 50 quilted items. The items will range in price from $5 to $125, she said.

Lyle said the fund-raiser helps keep the Clayton County Humane Society afloat, and at the same time, allows the society to focus on its mission of saving animals.

"We do two semi-annual yard sales a year and that is a lot of work for us," Lyle said. "It is just great for somebody to put in all this work and donate every penny toward the animals. They do beautiful work and what's perfect about it is that it is great for pet lovers ... it directly benefits the animals that we care for."

Shoppers coming to the Clayton County Humane Society fund-raiser at the shop, located at 7986 North Main St., Jonesboro, are encouraged to come early. For more information, call (770) 472-0015.