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Project Linus 2006: Dealers Raise Record Number of Blankets to Comfort Children

18 April, 2006

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MAHWAH , N.J. – Janome America sewing machine dealers across the country collected nearly 49,000 handmade blankets for this year's Project Linus National Make a Blanket Day, a 25% increase over last year's number. The event was held at Janome dealerships nationwide on Feb. 18. The collected blankets were then donated to Project Linus, a non-profit organization that distributes new, handmade, washable blankets to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need. This marked Janome's fourth year participating in the fundraiser, and the seventh year for the event. Since teaming up with Project Linus, Janome has raised more than 152,000 blankets for the organization.

A total of 229 Janome dealers in 46 states collected blankets for this year's event. Project Linus coordinators will distribute the blankets to children's hospitals, fire departments and family service organizations. Wherever possible, the blankets remain in the area in which they were created.

Sewing clubs, quilt guilds, school groups, and community members across the country took part in the event, contributing time, effort, and donations for the fundraiser. Every person who donated a blanket was entered in a drawing at their participating dealership to win a Janome DC3050 computerized sewing machine, a model ideal for creating any kind of home décor or sewing project. Each Janome dealer gave away at least one machine.

At Domestic Sewing Center in Warren, Ohio, the machine winner had vowed the previous year to make a blanket a day; she single-handedly sewed 415. Silverdale Viking Sewing & Vacuum in Silverdale, Wash. had a husband and wife team win the machine; he cuts the pieces, and she sews them together. At Sew-Ezy in Cincinnati, Ohio, the winner worked with her Brownie troop to earn badges. Blaine Sewing in Cranston, RI, gave away its machine to a group of ladies who meet every Tuesday to make blankets for Project Linus. And at Times Square Sewing Complex in Jacksonville, IL, the Jacksonville Senior Center won the drawing, and are already using the machine to make items to donate to local nursing homes.

“Our Janome dealers take great pride in being involved with this rewarding event, and every year they raise the bar,” stated Randy Thomas, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Janome. “We are thrilled to have brought in close to 50,000 blankets for Project Linus this year, and plan to bring in even more in 2007.”

Carol Babbitt, President of Project Linus, was delighted as well. “We are thankful for our partnership with Janome America, and grateful to the hundreds of dealers and their communities who have worked to bring in thousands of handmade blankets for our organization” added Babbitt, “Project Linus continues to expand nationwide, based in part on the many great relationships that have formed between Janome dealers and Project Linus chapters throughout the country.”

Janome and Project Linus have committed to working together for next year's National Make a Blanket Day, scheduled for Feb. 17, 2007.

Janome America is the largest subsidiary of Janome Sewing Machine Company of Japan, which produces more than one million sewing machines annually as well as a line of related sewing products and embroidery software.

With chapters in all 50 states, Project Linus is a 100% volunteer organization that has collected and distributed more than 1.5 million blankets to children in hospitals, shelters, social service agencies, or anywhere that a child might be in need of a big hug. For more information, see Piles Of Love: Project Linus Make A Blanket Day 2006, Winners: Project Linus 2006 Machine Drawing and www.projectlinus.org.

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