Lapghan Donation

Published: March 11th 2016 @ 12:20 PM by: Christine Simmons
Lapghan Donation

 

The weekend before 12-year-old Sara Treest died in 2007, she told her aunt she wanted to use her knitting skills to make something for every resident at an Ottawa nursing home.

Sara, a Shepherd Middle School student, had just learned how to make quilts from her aunt, Sue Bates.

"She lived a block away from Ottawa Pavilion," Sue said. "She said she wanted to do something for the people of Ottawa Pavilion. She wanted to wait until we had something for everyone."

Sara's grandmother, Jo McCandless, said that was just like Sara.

"She loved everyone," Jo said. "Most 12-year-olds don't pay attention to elderly people, but she did."

On Nov. 24, 2007, Sara, the daughter of Al and Heather Treest, died of a tragic accident in their home.

Sue was determined to complete the project for Ottawa Pavilion that her niece envisioned. One by one, Sue proceeded to make what are known as "lapghans," afghans for the lap.

"Sara came up with the idea to do the blankets. She asked if I could help her. She said that it would take a long time. I told her I'm sure it would," Sue said.

That it did.

At first, the Pavilion said it would need 100 blankets for all the residents, Sue said. About a year ago, that number increased to 129.

Recently, Sue completed the mission after eight years, putting the finishing touches on the 130th lapghan.

"I made one more than needed just in case," she said. "These are good for seniors sitting in their wheelchairs, so they can cover up their legs."

At 11 a.m. Friday, March 11, Sue plans to present the blankets to Ottawa Pavilion.

The next day, Sue will attend a get-together at Ottawa's Shakers Lounge in memory of Sara. It would have been Sara's 21st birthday.

"We're hoping her friends show up, at least those who are legal to drink," Sue said with a smile.

Sara was a member of Friendly City Sound, student council, drama club and Ottawa Girls Fast Pitch.

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