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On Thursday, May 18, at around 12:30 p.m., two plastic carrier bags, one white and one beige, were picked up by an unknown person from the sidewalk in front of the Noe Valley Ministry, on Sanchez Street near 23rd Street.
The bags contained a priceless treasure: this year's Noe Valley Co-op Nursery School quilt. "It was the complete top of the quilt--all that we had left to do was sew the top to the bottom," laments preschool director Nina Youkelson.
Sewn each year for the past 30 years, each quilt is a unique labor of love, made by the current parents at the school. "It's a beautiful visual manifestation of what we're all about, our wonderful cooperative spirit," Youkelson says.
This year's quilt, with the theme "Rise Up Singing," features a full moon looking down on a landscape comprised of favorite Noe Valley Nursery School songs, all of which come to rest on a mother and baby. Thirty families have been working on the design, and stitching and appliquéing, since October. In late May, the co-op posted notices in stores and on utility poles throughout Noe Valley, offering a reward for the quilt's return.
The quilt is the grand prize in the school's yearly spring raffle, an event that raises funds for a large portion of the school's operating expenses. Youkelson says the raffle, which includes other prizes, will go ahead as scheduled on June 16 at Douglass Playground. If the missing quilt does not show up before then, the school will use a quilt the parents made in 1990, which until recently was hanging in the Noe Valley Library. "The quilt's owner called when the library closed for renovation, and asked if we wanted it. So when this happened, I called her and she generously brought it over. It's called 'Homes Around the World' and has pictures of homes, such as an igloo, teepee, chalet, even a homeless person," says Youkelson.
But she still hopes someone will send home the "Rise Up Singing" quilt.
If you know anything concerning the quilt's whereabouts, call 819-1840 or the school at 647-2278. Or you may deliver it to the Noe Valley Ministry, or mail it to the Noe Valley Co-op Nursery School, Noe Valley Ministry, 1021 Sanchez Street, San Francisco, CA 94114.
"The children and parents of the school will thank you most emphatically."