Gary and Tia Honeyman from the Mott-Regent area have been helping to raise money for the local school libraries for the past five years.
What started as an idea for the Mott school, has grown to a county-wide fundraiser, raising money for the purchase of books for both the Mott and New England school libraries.
The fundraiser started out simply because the Honeyman children enjoy reading, and had read a majority of the books in the school library. That is when Tia Honeyman came up with the idea of making themed quilts to raise money for the Mott-Regent school library to purchase more books.
“I said, well what if we did a fundraiser. I will make quilts that have reading themes to them, and we got the junior high class to sell the tickets,” Honeyman said. “Then the next fall my kids came home from school and said, guess what mom, we told everybody you got a new [sewing] machine so it is going to be bigger and better than last year.”
The fundraiser in Mott has grown into a family fun event. After selling raffle tickets for the quilts, the children and families of the Mott school get together for a family fun night. The night includes the quilt drawing, along with dinner, games, and children also receive books that are donated by the Honeyman’s. This year the family fun night was on March 3.
The quilt fundraiser raises about $1,500 a year for the purchase of new books for the Mott school library. Then to celebrate reading month, the school holds fun reading activities during the entire month of March.
Tia Honeyman says that the event has been a hit, and she even has little kids come up to her at basketball games and they call her the quilt lady. She also said that some tickets are even sold before the quilts are made.
Honeyman says that she makes different themed quilts every year, but almost always makes a Dr. Seuss themed quilt. She also looks at books for inspiration and sometimes looks to see what she can find for material.
Two years ago, the Honeyman’s extended their generosity to the New England School and made quilts for the school to raise money for their own classroom libraries. Last year was a success and over $200 was raised for each grade pre-school through sixth grade at New England Elementary to purchase new books for each grades classroom library.
The Honeyman family donates six blanket quilts to the Mott School, with one being a t-shirt quilt. They also donate four themed quilt bundles to the New England School. Each school also receives 60 fleece tie blankets and 30 drawstring bags that are extra prizes for the students to try and win.
Tickets for the quilt raffle at New England School went on sale on March 21, and will continue to be sold through April 8. The raffle drawing will be on April 11.
This year’s raffle consists of four themed quilt bundles that include a homemade quilt, a stuffy and or pillow, and a book. This year the themes are Puppies, bugs, Berenstain Bears, and Dr. Seuss. Raffle tickets are one dollar and can be purchased at New England Public School.