Dad Lorenzo Gholston works with his sons Colin, left, and Ellin, right, on a blanket project for the Martin Luther King Day of Service project. (Marilyn Thomas/H-F Chronicle)
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MLK Day 2024: Spotlight singers, others join together for blanket project

Dad Lorenzo Gholston works with his sons Colin, left, and Ellin, right, on a blanket project for the Martin Luther King Day of Service project. (Marilyn Thomas/H-F Chronicle)
Dad Lorenzo Gholston works with his sons Colin, left, and Ellin, right, on a blanket project for the Martin Luther King
Day of Service project. (Marilyn Thomas/H-F Chronicle)

The floors in the Homewood Science Center became work spaces on Monday, Jan. 15, as groups worked together to create blankets for Anew: Building Beyond Violence and Abuse, the helping organization that works with those affected by domestic violence.

About 50 people came together at 9 a.m. to work on their Martin Luther King Day of Service project. A group of Homewood-Flossmoor High School National Honor Society members joined singers from the Spotlight Performance Academy which hosted the event. Others learned of the project from social media posts. 

Carrie Bonanotte of Spotlight said the majority of the people signed up through the Flossmoor village website.

The Homewood Science Center was one of 25 locations that hosted groups volunteering for the Village of Flossmoor’s annual MLK Day of Service event.

Spotlight hosts gave teams a soft, cozy fabric that would be one layer for a blanket. Then the teams got to select the second piece from a stack of fabric. Once paired, the fabric was spread out one on top of the other and volunteers took scissors to cut strips along the edges. The volunteers tied the strips together to make the finished blanket.

Spotlight Performance Academy members, from left, Ben Wool, Gina Bonanotte, Felicity Pries, Fiona Pries, Anderson Pries and Abby O'Quin joined together to work on a tie blanket for the helping agency Anew. (Marilyn Thomas/H-F Chronicle)
Spotlight Performance Academy members, from left, Ben Wool, Gina Bonanotte, Felicity Pries, Fiona Pries, Anderson Pries
and Abby O’Quin joined together to work on a tie blanket for the helping agency Anew. (Marilyn Thomas/H-F Chronicle)

Lorenzo Gholston of Chicago’s Beverly neighborhood said his friend, Nneka Dunham suggested they meet at the Homewood Science Center to work on a kid-friendly project. Dunham said she found the project in Homewood through a Google search for MLK Day activities suitable to younger children.

“Since it was Martin Luther King Day, mommy and daddy said to make blankets and give to other people,” first grader Colin Gholston who sat with his father and brother, Ellin, and Dunham making the tie blanket.

Spotlight Performance Academy adult singers joined in giving an hour or two to make blankets. Jessica Matushek of Homewood said after the COVID pandemic, she was glad to see the return of community projects.

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