MARQUETTE - Upper Peninsula residents will gather Saturday for a unique ceremony to remember loved ones who donated organs, tissues or eyes after their passing.
The Michigan Donor Family Gathering will take place starting at noon Saturday in the Explorers Rooms in the Don H. Bottum Center at Northern Michigan University in Marquette.
The gathering is sponsored by the Michigan Eye-Bank, Gift of Life Michigan and the Michigan Donor Family Council.
In addition to hearing from transplant recipients how their lives have been improved by the generosity of strangers, attendees will have the chance to create personalized quilt squares which will later be added to more than three dozen completed donor family quilts displayed throughout the state.
"Many donor families requested quilt kits weeks ago, and have been personalizing a quilt square in their loved one's memory in preparation for Sunday's event," said Jennifer Tislerics, a spokeswoman for Gift of Life Michigan in an email. "There will be additional quilt kits available at the event for families who have not yet had a chance to make a square for their loved one. Completed quilt squares can be sent to Gift of Life at any time, year-round. "A donor grandma volunteer puts together three or four quilts each year, lovingly piecing them together into larger quilts for display."
Registration, hospitality and quilt pinning open house begin at noon Saturday. The ceremony itself will start at 1 p.m. and last for about an hour.
Families will be invited to share a few words about their loved ones during the ceremony and will receive small gifts of appreciation from the organizations hosting the event.
All donor families are welcome to attend and are encouraged to RSVP to Gift of Life Michigan at 1-800-482-4881 or firstname.lastname@example.org