Woman shares raffle prize with friend

PLATTSBURGH - When Jessica Liberty won a quilt, she knew exactly what she was going to do with it - give it to her friend.

Liberty recently won a homemade quilt raffled by members of the Treasure Chests breast cancer support group, and gave it to her friend and co-worker, Diana Betts of Dannemora. The quilt, made by Joanne Kennedy of Peru, was raffled as part of the Treasure Chest team's fundraising to participate in the Northeastern New York Race for the Cure held in Albany last month.

Liberty said she "couldn't believe the odds," considering she only purchased a few of the raffle tickets, which were sold at various locations before the drawing.

"I never win anything. I think it was meant to be," said Liberty, who works with Betts in the CVPH Fitzpatrick Cancer Center, "because I just happened to run down to the bake sale and they were selling ribbons in honor of those who have either survived cancer or passed away from cancer."

Liberty said she bought a few ribbons for Betts, who had recently been diagnosed with breast cancer.

"That day, I was focused on Diana, so I think [the quilt] was meant to go to her," she said.

When Liberty recently surprised her friend with the quilt, Betts was overcome with emotion.

"This was a complete surprise," said Betts, smiling. "Jessica had told me she had done something but I didn't know what."

Betts said she, too, doesn't tend to win drawings and contests.

"I don't have very good luck," she said.

Betts explained she's gone through a "rough three years." Aside from her own bout with cancer, her son, Brian Mehan, passed away from his battle with the disease March 2, 2008. He was 20 years old.

Janice Opal, a member of the Treasure Chests team, said she hoped Liberty's luck and surprise gift to Betts was a sign of good things to come for Betts.

"This was really a special thing for [Liberty] to do," said Opal.

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