URBANA — For the ninth consecutive year, Cunningham Children's Home will host the Festival of Quilts from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday in the Spiritual Life Center on the campus.
The Festival of Quilts, presented by Arby's, celebrates a special tradition at Cunningham.
Since 1895, every young person who resides at Cunningham is given a handmade quilt, lovingly created by United Methodist Women and other members of the quilting community throughout Illinois who care about Cunningham youths.
The festival includes a quilt exhibit featuring dozens of hand-quilted and machine-quilted pieces. The show will include contemporary designs as well as antique quilts, some of which are family heirlooms on loan for the show.
Professional quilt judges award ribbons to the best quilts in various categories. Carolyn Stine of Springfield received the Best of Show ribbon in 2012.
"I look forward to this show every year," Stine said. "Ultimately, the proceeds are benefiting a cause that I feel strongly about."
The festival also includes:
— A silent auction featuring traditional and contemporary quilts and wall hangings.
— A boutique of cash and carry quilts and wall hangings.
— A gift shop of handcrafted items and a bake sale.
— The Patchwork Cafe, where festival guests may enjoy lunch or a snack during the day.
— Tours of the Cunningham campus for those who are interested in learning more about the history, programs and services provided there.
Admission is $5 per person; all proceeds will benefit Cunningham youngsters.
"We are especially excited about our ninth Festival of Quilts," said Cloydia Hill Larimore, vice president of advancement. "The festival is our signature fundraising event, and we are very grateful to the many quilters who provide quilts for the show and auction because we certainly could not do this event without their support."
Each year, Cunningham Children's Home serves more than 250 children and adolescents with serious emotional and behavioral disabilities and their families in programs that include residential treatment, foster care, independent living and therapeutic special education. The home is a mission and ministry of the United Methodist Women of the Illinois Great Rivers Conference in partnership with the General Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church.