by Dennis Dalman
Jill Lundquist, a Sartell-St. Stephen School District school resource police officer, received a pleasant surprise recently at Sartell Middle School.
Students presented her with a handmade quilt in appreciation for her service to the school.
Student Jenna Dahlberg presented the quilt, which was made by her grandmother, Deb Bomstad of Willmar. Students in the gymnasium cheered wildly as Lundquist, visibly moved by the students’ kindness, accepted the gift with a thank you.
Before presenting the quilt, Dahlberg read a speech written by her mother, Dory Dahlberg, the daughter of Bomstad, who’d made the quilt.
Dory, in the speech read by her daughter, noted the features of the quilt and why they were selected in the quilt’s creation:
“First, the colors. We see a lot of dark colors on this quilt, and those colors reminded me our police officers are often with people in the dark times of their lives – people who might be hurt, sad, lost or angry and really need someone to lend a helping hand. Police officers, like Officer Jill, can be a light in that darkness – to help protect, comfort and even save lives. The row of blue squares represents the ‘Thin Blue Line.’ Blue is a traditional color for police departments, and the blue line is an idea that police officers stand between order and chaos, or between the good and bad in our community. “
And then Jenna told Lundquist this:
“The second thing you might notice about the quilt is that it’s not very fancy. This isn’t a quilt meant for hanging up and displaying. It’s meant to be used, to be worn out and to be repaired. Police officers have good days and bad days. We hope, officer Jill, that if you find yourself at the end of a bad day, you’ll wrap yourself up in this quilt and think of it like a big hug – from a community who supports what you do here at Sartell Middle School and around our city.
“So thank you, officer Jill, for being a light for our students, for providing safety and security, for encouraging students to make good choices in life and for being here when they need a helping hand.”
Dory Dahlberg later told the Sartell-St. Stephen Newsleader that her mother had made many quilts to give to military personnel as a way of thanking them for their service to the nation. About three years ago, Dory began good deeds for police officers, which inspired her mother to start making quilts for officers, too. The one for Lundquist is the third quilt Bomstad has made for police.
Author: Dennis Dalman
Dalman was born and raised in South St. Cloud, graduated from St. Cloud Tech High School, then graduated from St. Cloud State University with a degree in English (emphasis on American and British literature) and mass communications (emphasis on print journalism). He studied in London, England for a year (1980-81) where he concentrated on British literature, political science, the history of Great Britain and wrote a book-length study of the British writer V.S. Naipaul. Dalman has been a reporter and weekly columnist for more than 30 years and worked for 16 of those years for the Alexandria Echo Press.