(Boston, MA) – An autographed quilt constructed by a former Samaritans Boston Marathon runner and her sister will be hung in the Massachusetts Statehouse April 1 – Marathon Monday on April 20. The quilt features the autographs of several famous Boston Marathon runners, sports stars, and noteworthy celebrities.
Tricia Pierson ran the 2014 Boston Marathon as a member of the Samaritans team in support of the organization’s suicide prevention services and awareness programs. When she began training in 2010, as a fundraiser, she and her sister Lissa Pierson decided to create a quilt featuring the signatures of prominent Boston figures.
The duo created mailing kits, containing fabric squares and return envelopes, to send to possible contributors and attended various charity events to collect autographs. After the Boston Marathon Bombing in 2013, Tricia and Lissa extended the list of candidates to include the signatures of those affected by the bombing. In all, they collected 182 signatures.
Notable autographs featured on the quilt include Brady, Belichick, Bird, Orr, Papi, and Chara. The signed autograph squares were used to frame large applique blocks depicting Boston landmarks.
The quilt measures 74 x 82 inches and required 500 hours to make. Lissa Pierson designed and created the quilt. A quilter for 30 years, this is Lissa’s second ‘capitol’ quilt. A quilt she created for Quilts of Valor previously hung in the Hart Senate Office building in Washington, DC, before being awarded to a service person touched by war.
The duo’s mother, Pat Pierson acted as the “Artistic Director” throughout the project, providing advice and guidance. Timna Tarr, whose award-winning quilts have been featured in national shows and magazines, machine quilted the quilt. Pete and Diane Marsh served as the inspiration for this project, as well as a source of unending support.
The quilt’s debut at the Statehouse was initially prompted during a visit to Samaritans by the Vice Chair of the Joint Committee on Mental Health and Substance Abuse, Senator Joan Lovely. From the second Senator Lovely admired the quilt and asked if it might be possible to have it hung in the Statehouse leading up to this year’s marathon.
The quilt will be hung in Nurse’s Hall from April 1 through Marathon Monday on April 20th. 15 dedicated members of Samaritans’ community will be running this year’s Boston Marathon. To learn more about them, visit www.crowdrise.com/samaritansboston2015.
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For over 40 years, Samaritans, Inc. volunteers have answered more than 2.5 million phone calls. The agency has trained more than 4,500 volunteers and instructed more than 100,000 individuals through its Community Education and Outreach Program and has supported over 10,000 individuals who have lost a loved one to suicide.
Samaritans Statewide Toll Free Helpline: 877-870-HOPE (4673)