TYLER, TEXAS - Ann Hardin could rest on her laurels as a wonderful wife, mother, grandmother and community volunteer. But, her claim to fame also includes sharing her talent with embroidery.
Hundreds of Tyler women look forward to the Alzheimer's Alliance's Mah Jongg for Memory Fundraiser each July so they can buy a Chance Drawing ticket to win Ann's coveted Christmas Table Topper. Ann has been embroidering the sought after Christmas Cloths, as she calls them, six years now, and says it is a privilege, " I am just trying in a small way to find a cure for this dreaded disease."
Few would call her efforts small. Each image she embroiders on the Christmas Cloths takes at least three hours of work, in addition to the elaborate trim. Her Cloths also bring in several thousand dollars every year in Chance Drawing ticket sales for the Alliance to provide programs and services for people in Smith County suffering from dementia and their families. "The hours she spends on our Chance Drawing prize is so appreciated, says Stephanie Taylor, Alzheimer's Alliance Executive Director. "Her work translates into programs like our Terrific Tuesdays weekly respite day for caregivers; the tracking program, Project Lifesaver; and our Master Counselor who advises anyone needing information and help with Dementia."
Ann says she has always loved sewing and creating different items for herself and others. Her grandchildren have been the lucky recipients of many of her embroidered gifts. Ann loved making heirloom clothing for her granddaughters when they were young. She also embroiders quilts for them and hopes to do likewise for great grandchildren one day, "I hope that they will love them as much as I loved doing them. Each of my grandchildren will get a tub filled with Christmas ornaments, cup towels and a Christmas Tree Cloth when they get married."
The other blessed recipients of her work include her friends. When a close friend's spouse passes away, Ann embroiders a pillow with their name, date and a beautiful cross as a remembrance.
This year's Table Topper winner will be announced at the July 13th Mah Jongg for Memory Games Day and Luncheon at Willow Brook Country Club. Stephanie says anyone can win and you don't have to be present, "Chance Drawing Tickets are $10 each, 6 for $50 or 13 for $100. Just call the Alzheimer's office at (903) 509-8323 or go online to the Alzheimer's Alliance website, www.alzalliance.com to purchase tickets."