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For youngsters with disabilities, a gift beyond measure

Holiday knitting project in full swing

Mike Heine/The Week

(Published August 6, 2007, 2:13 p.m.)

It's the middle of summer, but Jutta Rupe is already thinking about Christmas.

Rupe, of rural Elkhorn, is once again keeping her fingers moving and the yarn spinning for the sake of the youngest children at Lakeland School.

This year, she's knitting and crocheting 75 afghan-like lap blankets for the elementary-age students at the Walworth County school for children with disabilities.

"I started in February," said Rupe, who for 31 years now has volunteered her own time and money to make the presents for the Lakeland School kids. "I've got a couple friends helping this year. It's a big project. We've gone through quite a bit of yarn so far."

The blankets will range in size and colors for the students. The gifts will be distributed at the school's holiday party in early December.

Since her project was publicized last year, Rupe said she has been overwhelmed with donations of yarn.

"I have more yarn than Wal-Mart, altogether," she said.

She could always use more.

"If people want to bring it, we'll take it. Sooner or later I'll use it," she said.

Rupe is also looking for donations of new stuffed animal toys and new tube socks.

Each year, Rupe gives each student a pair of socks filled with goodies, fruit, candy and a plush toy. She asks that the children's socks be new and the toys be new or very slightly used.

Donations of yarn, socks or toys can be dropped off at Lakeland School, 504 W. Court St., Elkhorn.

For more information on how to help, call Rupe at (262) 441-0459.

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