MEMS Students Present SVHC’s Cancer Center with Special Gift


22 June 2012
BENNINGTON — Students from Manchester Elementary and Middle School (MEMS) recently presented Southwestern Vermont Health Care’s (SVHC) Southwestern Vermont Regional Cancer Center with a special hand-crafted afghan.
“Seventh grade students were challenged to create and organize a ‘change’ project,” said Barbara Smith, a MEMS staff member. “The students were asked to research areas of interest and evaluate the needs of others in our region. The project had to have a positive impact on our community.”
Seven students decided to focus on patients who are being treated for cancer at SVHC’s Cancer Center. Five of them presented the colorful crocheted afghan they created to Dr. Orion Howard, medical director of the Cancer Center, Carolanne Marquis, executive director of the SVHC Foundation, and other Foundation and Cancer Center staff members on Tuesday, June 12.
            “I’m very impressed with the thought and consideration for others that went into creating the afghan,” stated Dr. Howard. “It was a pleasure to meet the students involved and to accept such a beautiful gift on behalf of our patients.”
“What a thoughtful gift,” said Wendy Petitt, practice manager for the Cancer Center. “I am amazed at the amount of work and attention that went into what is truly a selfless act of kindness.”
Students worked for several months on the project. Tasks included performing research and learning how to crochet. Black Sheep Yarns in Dorset, Vt., donated the yarn. The seventh graders worked under the supervision of MEMS staff member Tracy Hughes with assistance from Smith. The two women helped the seventh graders assemble the afghan from crocheted squares the students created.
“The children really put a lot of thought into this,” stated Smith, “They wanted to create something that would offer warmth and comfort to a cancer patient. It was a great experience for them.
“Today was a wonderful conclusion for their project,” she added, “They really enjoyed presenting the result of their hard work to the Cancer Center.”
“All we can say is a heartfelt thank you,” concluded Petitt. “One of our patients will surely be comforted from a gift made with such thought and care literally weaved right into it.”
The Southwestern Vermont Regional Cancer Center is a part of Southwestern Vermont Health Care, an integrated health system providing care for patients in Bennington and Windham Counties in Vermont, Rensselaer and Washington Counties in New York, and Berkshire County in Massachusetts. SVHC also includes Southwestern Vermont Medical Center (SVMC), the VNA & Hospice of SVHC, the Centers for Living & Rehabilitation, and the SVMC Northshire and Deerfield Valley Campuses. To learn more about SVHC, visit or SVHC’s Facebook page.
Media Contact: Eileen Druckenmiller
(802) 447-5558