Source: Sherman Publications

Teachers launch blanket project

May 18, 2011

Clarkston teachers Kelly Mertz, Jessica Sorensen, Gwen Stewart, and Kerri Gualtieri are busy making fleece blankets in their A Will-to-Ty project, and they invite the community to join in.

"Last year, we launched the project as Project Pennanen, which brought in 206 blankets," Gualtieri said. "We are hoping to get even more this year."

A year ago, two Clarkston Community Schools staff had a child diagnosed with cancer. Will Pennanen was diagnosed with leukemia and Ty Duffy was diagnosed with retinoblastoma.

"Both boys and their families have shown an unfathomable amount of courage and strength throughout the last year," Gualtieri said. "In honor of these two boys, we would like to share a project that was started. The goal is to make and deliver as many fleece tie blankets as possible to local hospital pediatric wards."

Blankets will be collected through the end of the school year. Drop them off at Pine Knob, Bailey Lake, and Independence elementary schools, Sashabaw Middle School, Clarkston Junior High, and Clarkston High School.

Send donations of fleece or money to Sashabaw Middle School, c/o Kerri Gualtieri, 5565 Pine Knob Lane, Clarkston, 48346.

This project's FaceBook page has people in Montana, Ohio, and New York making blankets for their local hospitals. Visit "A Will-to-Ty" page and “like” it for updates on this project.

"We are anxious to see how far this act of kindness will spread," Gualtieri said. "We also would be thrilled for you to share pictures of the blankets that you make."

For more information, contact Gualtieri at