Shortly after the terrorist attacks on September 11th in 2001, a northwest Iowa woman began making quilts. In the past eight years, Betty Nielsen of Fonda and a group of volunteers have made 6,600 of the so-called “Freedom Quilts.”

Nielsen says they first started giving quilts to the families of Nine Eleven victims, then to Hurricane Katrina victims, victims of the flood in Cedar Rapids, and now to the families of fallen soldiers. She says some of the quilts are on display at her shop, located on her family’s farm northwest of Varina.

This Saturday, the Siouxland Chapter of American Legion Riders will hold a benefit motorcycle ride to raise funds for Nielsen’s quilting project. The ride will begin in Marcus and go through Sutherland, Sioux Rapids, Albert City, and Newell, ending at Nielsen’s shop.

Contributed by Joel Hermann, KAYL, Storm Lake