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Quilt for a Cause: A History

In 2003, Tucson quilter Jeannie Coleman decided to make a contribution in the fight against breast and gynecologic cancers. With encouragement from friends, she organized a Quilt Auction in November 2003. Little did she know the impact her idea would have! Quilters throughout Arizona and other western states donated a total of 208 quilts to be auctioned off, raising $53,000. After that success Jeanie couldn't stop, so Quilt for a Cause was incorporated in 2004 as a 501(c)3 organization and has continued since then with diverse fundraising events and efforts.

Quilt for a Cause has focused on displaying quilts for sale on our web site as well as in Tucson and surrounding communities. Other efforts have included trunk shows, fashion shows, writing grant requests, and bus trips to out of  town quilting events. Large local quilt auctions have been held every three years, and we are thrilled to announce that over $1,000,000 has been raised since 2003.

Proceeds from fundraising efforts are distributed in Southern Arizona. Early recipients included the Tucson Medical Center's Joel Childers, M.D. Fund, and the American Cancer Society. More recently, revenues have been awarded to Tucson Medical Center Foundation, St. Elizabeth's Health Center, El Rio Health Center Foundation, and several other local non-profit organizations that support our mission. Our all-volunteer Board of Directors strives to keep the administrative expenses at less than five percent. The success of Quilt for a Cause would not be possible without the generous donations from hundreds of quilters, many of whom have been personally touched by the devastation of breast and gynecologic cancers. We are so very grateful to all who advance our worthy cause with their hours of dedication to the art of quilting.

Quilt for a Cause, Inc. thrives with the help of almost 1,000 quilters, both women and men, who make and donate quilts for QFaC to sell. These quilters are from Arizona, more than 25 other U.S. states, Canada, Italy, the United Kingdom and more. Also, creative people design quilts and write patterns that QFaC sells. Local organizations support QFaC efforts with grants, donations, and publicity. Since inception, Tucson Quilters Guild has been a continuous and valued supporter. Local quilt shops including The Quilters Market, Cathey’s Sew and Vac, The Quilt Basket and Cactus Quilt Shop continue to offer support. Recently, QFaC has expanded and begun receiving support through quilt donations and fundraising opportunities from the Arizona Quilter’s Guild based in Phoenix.

In 2018, QFaC partnered with Tucson Botanical Gardens for our first long term exhibition and sale. The four-month exhibition resulted in sales of over 160 quilts and many boutique items. A second long-term exhibition was a success in 2019 at the Tucson Botanical Gardens.

On September 27, 2019 Quilt For A Cause hosted The Giving Celebration at Tucson Botanical Gardens to say Thank you to the many quilters and volunteers who have donated their handiwork and time to make QFaC’s philanthropy possible and to give checks to the organizations receiving Quilt For A Cause, Inc. 2019 grants. Information for future grants can be obtained by contacting QFaC through this website.

All proceeds from the 2019 Auction were donated to the Tucson Medical Center Foundation in support of TMC’s new Genetic Counseling Program.

In 2012, Jeannie Coleman and Carol Zupancic were inducted into the Arizona Quilters Hall of Fame honoring their work as co-founders of Quilt for a Cause. The organization received a “Spirit of Philanthropy 2017” award on National Philanthropy Day after being nominated by St. Elizabeth’s Health Center. Quiltfolk magazine honored Quilt for a Cause with a feature in its 2018 issue on Arizona.

In 2017, co-founder Jeannie Coleman passed away. QFaC and the Tucson quilting community remember her and appreciate the spirit of giving that Jeannie embodied. Jeannie retired from the Board of Directors in 2013 but continued to encourage and be a resource for the continuing work of Quilt for a Cause.

We invite you to explore this website to purchase quilts and patterns and to learn about our upcoming events.  Also, find information on how to donate to QFaC and help us fight breast and gynecologic cancers.