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The Connecticut Chapter works to improve the quality of life for people affected by MS in Connecticut and raise funds for critical MS research. Join the movement toward a world free of MS.


Yankee Cloth To Host 4th Annual Autumn Harvest Festival

September 10, 2013

WALLINGFORD, Conn. – Four years ago, after nearly 30 years of quilting as a hobby, Wallingfordresident Nancy Trunko opened her very own quilting shop: Yankee Cloth. That very same year, she decided that she would use her niche business as a way to garner support for a chronic illness her dear friend has been fighting since 2005.

Originally inspired by Northford resident Janet Rathbun’s diagnosis with multiple sclerosis, Yankee Cloth continues to make its mark and do its part to make a difference in the lives of those living with MS, a potentially debilitating disease. The shop will host its 4th Annual Autumn Harvest Festival to benefit the National MS Society, Connecticut Chapter, on Saturday, Oct. 5, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in Wallingford.

“I was diagnosed at the age of 53, which is later than most people will receive word that they are living with the degenerative disease,” said Janet Rathbun, who had retired from her work with a communications company shortly before her diagnosis. “But with the help of Nancy and her shop, I am making my presence known and raising awareness about the disease through this festival.”

Shoppers can support the fight against MS by visiting the festival, viewing quilts on display, participating in a teacup auction and shopping with local artisans who will be taking part in the Yankee Cloth Craft Show. Items for sale, include quilted items, handmade purses, totes, iPad covers, jewelry bags, stenciled artwork, primitive Christmas items, table runners and much more. 

More than 6,000 Connecticut residents, like Rathbun, live with multiple sclerosis. The cause is unknown and there is currently no cure. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot be predicted. Funds raised ensure ongoing scientific research to find a cure and provide for the continuation of vital programs and services offered by the chapter to Connecticut residents affected by MS.

In the past three years, the festival has raised nearly $1,200 for the fight against MS. With another Yankee Cloth employee learning of a family member’s own diagnosis of MS earlier this year, the small shop has big goals for this year’s fundraising.

“Nancy has done a great job of setting up the festival to raise funds for the National MS Society,” continued Rathbun, who will be providing information and fielding inquiries about MS during this year’s festival. “The vendors pay a fee to set up, which in turn is donated to the society. As in the past, we will also have grandchildren offering pumpkins for donations. New this year is the Tea Cup Auction with the proceeds to be donated to the National MS Society. This year, we want to spread the word so more people come and enjoy the festival.”

The 4th Annual Autumn Harvest Festival is an example of Do It Yourself fundraising. Funds raised through Do It Yourself fundraising events ensure ongoing scientific research to find a cure and provide for the continuation of vital programs and services offered by the chapter.

For more information on the festival, please email Nancy Trunko at or call 203-265-1932. Yankee Cloth is located at 411 Center St., in Wallingford.

To learn more about Do It Yourself Fundraising, multiple sclerosis, its effects and the many ways to become involved, please visit the National MS Society, Connecticut Chapter’s website at


About the Connecticut Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society

The Connecticut Chapter strives to provide knowledge and assistance to help people with MS and their families maintain the highest possible quality of life. These goals are achieved through vital national and local programs.

About Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are leading to better understanding and moving us closer to a world free of MS. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, with at least two to three times more women than men being diagnosed with the disease. MS affects more than 2.3 million people worldwide.


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