Photo: Duane Dailey, Officer of Grand County Veterans Affairs speaks at Monday’s Veterans Day breakfast Photo by Michael Schurer
One of our greatest gifts – our American way of life – comes to us from the words of our Founding Fathers and the actions of our veterans. Without them we would have never been able to experience the rights and freedoms that make us Americans.
Local veterans, their family and community members came together Monday morning at YMCA Snow Mountain Ranch south of Granby for Grand County’s Annual Veterans Day Breakfast Celebration, honoring the service and sacrifices of local citizens who served in the military.
Duane Dailey, Grand County Veterans Service Officer and members of the local VFW host the event with the support of Snow Mountain Ranch and a group of volunteers. This year, the National Vice-Commander for the American Legion, Rob Liebenow attended, along with Richard Tremaine, Director, Colorado Division of Veteran Affairs. Both leaders thanked the group for their service “to our great nation” and they also revealed their work behind the scenes.
The annual event highlights the men and women of Grand County that served. The presentation honors those lost in battle with a special POW-MIA honor service. The program also features the Granby Elementary “Minnie Singers” and a special performance by Peggy Mann.
Betty Cranmer, Royal Air Force WWII, at 102 years old, the oldest veteran in the room, captivated the crowd with stories of World War II, saying, “this German pilot blew up our local theater and came around and started shooting at us, but he missed, so I am still here.”
At this year’s event, the Peaks ‘n Pines Quilt Guild showed their appreciation to a few of Grand County’s most seasoned vets. The local quilt guild made unique patriotic quilts for four vets that served more than 50 years ago. The Quilts of Valor were presented to Betty Cranmer – Royal Air Force, WWII; J.R. James Rauenbuehler – US Army, WWII; Don Accord – US Navy, Korea; and Jack Oleson – US Army Air Corp, WWII.
Quilter Barbara Roberts said, “The Quilts of Valor project was our first award ceremony and we hope to continue to honor and award quilts to veterans of Grand County throughout the year as we are able to complete the quilts.”
The Peaks n’ Pines quilt guild has several charities they support throughout the year. In addition to quilts of valor, the guild makes quilts for Bright Beginnings, through Mountain Family Center, and they sponsor families through MFC during the holidays. Each member of the selected family gets a quilt. In 2020, the Peaks n Pines team have plans to take on more charities in need.
In July, the quilt guild highlights their work at an annual arts and crafts show in Grand Lake. Stephenson said, “This year, we had more than 80 quilts displayed in different categories. We had 3 demonstration stations where members were showing different quilting techniques.” The group also sells items to fund their work.
The Peaks ‘n Pines Quilt Guild has more than 60 members and the mission is “to promote and perpetuate the art of quilting for all age groups”. The group meets the second Thursday of each month at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Granby. This includes a general meeting and program followed by a 1/2 day or full day workshop. “We have speakers and presentations from guild members and speakers from outside the guild as well.” Martha Stephenson, quilt guild member, said, “Our members have a lot of diverse talents and love to share their expertise with the guild.”
The holiday season is a time of giving and the Peak ‘n Pines Quilt Guild is always accepting donations. Contributions can be for a specific project or for the general fund to help with costs of materials, supplies, speakers and workshops. For more information, visit their website at peaksnpinesquiltguild.org.