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Tracy Frank, Published December 24 2013

HerVoice: LaMoure woman recognized for sewing

Her Voice is a weekly article about women in or from our area and how they make an impact on the world around them. If you know someone SheSays should feature in HerVoice, email Tracy Frank at tfrank@forumcomm.com.

LaMOURE, N.D. – Lois Bachynski says she never gets bored.

The 72-year-old LaMoure woman spends a lot of her time sewing and cutting quilting squares. She sews baby quilts, quilt tops, fleece blankets and pillowcase dresses, and she donates most of her creations.

For her efforts, Bachynski has been named North Dakota’s 2013 outstanding senior volunteer in the Home Instead Senior Care Salute to Senior Service.

She makes between 60 and 80 baby quilts a year, which she donates to Birthright of Fargo Moorhead and Hearts of Hope in Belcourt. Birthright is an international, nondenominational organization that provides support to those who have an unplanned pregnancy. Hearts of hope is a nonprofit organization that provides family crisis services and shelter for women dealing with family violence or sexual assault.

Bachynski has made about 845 pillowcase dresses over the past two years, and says she’s “still going strong.” She donates the dresses to children in Africa and Peru through people she knows who do mission work there.

She has seen pictures of children wrapped in her quilts and says it feels really good to be able to help out.

“It makes me feel glad that I know how to sew,” Bachynski said.

She also cuts the quilting squares for church quilting groups.

When Bachynski moved in 2001 from the Twin Cities back to her hometown of LaMoure, she learned to quilt from some of the ladies at St. Ansgar Lutheran Church in rural LaMoure.

“It just seemed interesting,” she said. “It was another activity to do.”

Whenever Bachynski is in a larger town with a thrift store, she stops by to pick up pillow cases for the dresses, she said, adding that she also receives a lot of donations of material and other supplies.

“Somebody is leaving something at my door once or twice a week,” she said.

Bachynski says “it was a great honor” to be named outstanding senior volunteer. Along with the honor, Home Instead Senior Care network, the contest sponsor, donated $500 to the nonprofit of her choice. Bachynski chose the American Red Cross because “they’re usually one of the first responders whenever there’s a disaster,” she said.

The Home Instead Senior Care network launched the Salute to Senior Service program last year to honor seniors’ commitments to their causes and communities, a news release stated.

“Lois represents so well the dedication and commitment that make senior volunteers such a value to their communities,” Jeff Huber, president of Home Instead Inc., said in a news release. “She has proven once again that age is meaningless when it comes to making a difference. So many charities, nonprofit organizations and faith communities could not do the work they are doing without selfless volunteers such as Lois.”

The nomination, printed at www.salutetoseniorservice.com, calls Bachynski “modest, unassuming, friendly, pleasant and willing to undertake something new.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter Tracy Frank at (701) 241-5526