February 2018 marks the 37th anniversary celebration of Love Without Fear Month in North Dakota. Each year the domestic violence programs in North Dakota use this month to remember those victims who have died, those still suffering and those who have survived. The focus is on loving relationships rather than those involving abuse. In 2017 Kedish House assisted 101 victims including secondary victims from their five county coverage area of Logan, McIntosh, Dickey, LaMoure and Sargent Counties. In the past 29 years in February Kedish House has honored individuals who have been chosen to receive recognition with certificates of appreciation and a small gift for their efforts towards ending violence. The recipient of the 2018 Healing the Hurt award is Leona Neu of Ashley.
Leona has lived in the Ashley area for all of her 93 years being born and raised on a farm east of there. Leona has blessed Kedish House for many years with her talent of making quilts for their families as well as their annual quilt auction in October and several beautiful ones for their annual raffle prizes. Many times people have purchased raffle tickets to have a chance on one of Leona’s quilts. Her quilts have been given to many hurting people both children and adults that have come to Kedish House for help over the years. Their eyes always light up as they wrap one of the beautiful quilts around them and wonder who would make something so nice just for them. The quilt I remember the best, Leona donated several years ago for the raffle and she used the wedding ring pattern. I don’t think that I’ve ever seen a quilt that I thought was more beautiful than that one was. Now days Leona usually works on sewing the blocks together and others assist with finishing the rest of the quilt.
Leona and her husband Herbert farmed for many years before moving to Ashley in 1963. They had two children and she has 4 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren. Leona had many skills being a seamstress and cake decorator for years. She made many wedding and bridesmaid dresses over the years and also made the wedding cakes for the brides. Many centennial dresses were also made by Leona. She has also been very active in her church, homemakers club and many other organizations through the years. She was very creative with her flowers and has spent many hours of quilting at the Senior Center and for Lutheran World Relief at her church. Leona has also worked on family history through the years and enjoys that.
Kedish House is pleased to recognize Leona with their 2018 award. Last year’s award was given to LaMoure County Sheriff Bob Fernandes of Jud.
If you would like further information about the work of Kedish House, would like a presentation about family violence or have time to volunteer or like to donate to help in our work please call 701-349-4729 or our cell phone 701-349-5118.