Warrior Quilt Patches provide words of encouragement to breast cancer patients

Photo by Shelley Hanson Walmart at The Highlands gives a $1,500 grant to the Theta Chapter of Zeta Tau Alpha at Bethany College and the Wheeling Alumnae Chapter of ZTA for the groups’ breast cancer awareness efforts. From left are Mike DeArdo of Jim Robinson Ford, students Kasie Goldsborough and Emma Gress, alumni Ashley Subasic and Cassie Finley, Walmart anager Paul Buncie and Walmart Asset Protection Team Leader Kim Stevey.

TRIADELPHIA — People can help provide encouragement to local women fighting breast cancer by creating a special quilt square today at The Highlands Walmart.

The patches will be incorporated into one of many Warrior Quilts.

A crafting area has been set up on the left side entrance of the store. The activity is free to do and all the necessary equipment is provided. The patches are pre-cut. There are numerous stamps, markers and paint people can use to decorate one or more pieces of fabric.

On hand Thursday to decorate patches were members of the Theta Chapter of Zeta Tau Alpha at Bethany College and the Wheeling Alumnae Chapter of ZTA. Breast cancer awareness is the sorority’s philanthropy and Walmart donated $1,500 to their efforts during a check presentation held at the store. Giving the check were The Highlands Walmart Manager Paul Buncie and Walmart Asset Protection Team Leader Kim Stevey.

Breast cancer awareness is also one of Jim Robinson Ford dealership’s philanthropies and Mike DeArdo, sales and leasing manager, was on hand for the event as well. He said the quilts will be made by volunteers with the Ford Motor Co.

“I’m trying to do more in the area so I was excited to help,” Buncie said of the Walmart grant.

Buncie said he’s had family members who have battled breast cancer in the past.

“This is important to me, too, for family,” he added.

DeArdo said he has had friends who have battled the disease.

“We all have to take up a cause and this was mine,” he said. “When the quilts get done they get donated to area hospitals and treatment centers for encouragement for patients and their families.”

Ashley Subasic, ZTA-Theta Chapter, Bethany College, general advisor and Wheeling Alumnae chapter president, said the group wants to raise more awareness for breast cancer and early screenings and treatment. She said they also raise money to help with research for a cure.

“The whole reason I joined ZTA was because of our philanthropy being breast cancer awareness,” she said. “My grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer in the 90s when I was in middle school. That was my first real experience with cancer as a whole. She survived. “My aunt has battled it three times and is still surviving it. … Just knowing the funds we raise and the awareness is helping her gives me kind of a sense of peace in regards to that.”

Cassie Finley, ZTA-Theta Wheeling Alumnae chapter treasurer, said she also joined ZTA because of its breast cancer awareness efforts.

“Early prevention can really, really make a difference,” she said.

Finley said she had a cousin who died from breast cancer and her late cousin’s mother is now battling the disease “and is winning.” Another aunt is also battling breast cancer.

“It does affect everybody you know,” Finley said. “So I’m so excited the community and Ford and Walmart are working together.”

Emma Gress, president of the ZTA Theta chapter at Bethany College, said she has felt connected to breast cancer awareness since high school. She’s had friends with family members impacted by it. Gress, a senior at Bethany, is studying Sports Medicine.

“Breast cancer affects everybody. We appreciate doing the work for anybody who could use it and giving to something bigger than ourselves,” Gress said.


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