When she saw the quilt made from the past Brown County Heart Association T-shirts, Meldina Mitchell knew she wanted to try and bid on the one-of-a-kind keepsake. But she didn’t expect the bid to rise so quickly.

“I had already told my husband we needed to bid on it,” Mitchell said. “Before I knew it, the bid was at $800 and my husband turned to me and asked if me if I still wanted him to bid on it.”

After Shawn Hardin closed the bid at $950 to Debbie Hagood, Mitchell could not believe what happened next. Hagood stood up and announced to the audience that a group of Mitchell’s friends pooled together their funds to bid on the quilt.

“She’s a huge asset to this event,” said Fran Smith, regional director of the Heart Association. “Meldina has been a long-time board member and has been instrumental in making the Jump Rope For Heart and the Heart Gala a success.”

After Hagood’s announcement, Samantha Bartee quickly presented Mitchell with the quilt.

“It was the biggest surprise ever,” Mitchell said.

The quilt was pieced, designed and binded by Joy Ivy and quilted by Doris Rice, who in the spirit of the Heart Association quilted hearts throughout the 76 inch by 84 inch quilt.

Other items auctioned off during the evening were an Ameraguard sprayed truck bed liner donated by Blevins Body Shop; bluebonnet canvas painting donated by Ted and Martha Shelton; hog hunting experience donated by the Hooligan Hoggers; a chocolate cake donated by Debbie Stembridge; and a deer photograph.

According to Smith, the fund-raising goal for the campaign is $25,000 and she’s fairly confident the local association will exceed that number.

“Once we tally all the silent auction items and the live auction items, I’m confident we’ll reach our goal,” Smith said.