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AIDS Memorial Quilt coming to Coastal Carolina University

January 20, 2005

The largest independent display of the AIDS Memorial Quilt that has traveled across the United States and around the world since its founding 18 years ago is coming to Coastal Carolina University April 1 to 3.

Forty-five quilts, or 360 panels, each intentionally made to be the size of a grave, will be on display in Kimbel Arena from 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, April 1 and Saturday, April 2, and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, April 3. It is free and open to the public.

The fastest growing segment of the population to be infected with the HIV virus is the college age group, so we feel it is especially important to get the word out, said Susan Rivenburgh, spokesperson with the Coastal AIDS Quilt Project that is co-sponsoring the CCU exhibition.

Matt Morrin, director of Coastals Office of Student Activities, stressed the importance of bringing the Quilt to campus as an educational tool to show students and others in the community the impact of the disease.

As of October 2004, the AIDS Memorial Quilt is composed of more than 5,683 blocks (blocks are the 12-foot square building blocks of the Quilt seen at displays). Most blocks are composed of eight separate panels, remembering the lives of eight individuals who died of AIDS. New panels are received each week at the Foundation office in Atlanta, Ga. The Quilt was founded in San Francisco in 1987.

People may request a particular panel be sent to this display, according to Rivenburgh. For instance, if a loved one is memorialized in a panel on exhibit in another city or state, once a request is made, it may be shipped to the current exhibit.

People can also make their own new panels to add to the Quilt. Seaside Stitching in Surfside Beach and volunteers with the AIDS ministry at St. Michaels Catholic Church will help construct a memorial section if someone has lost a friend or family member to AIDS.

For more information on how to request a specific panel or how to make your own, call Morrin at 349-2303.