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Early in 1977, a group of customers of one of the local needlework shops, who wished to share their interest in stitching, met and decided to investigate the possibility of forming a chapter of EGA in Melbourne, Florida. In May of that same year, twenty five people indicated they would be interested and the Indian River Chapter received its charter. Presently the chapter averages about 65 members including several of the founders. The two satellite groups, The Sew 'n' Sews who meet in Cocoa and the Night Stitchers who meet in Indian Harbour Beach, are included in this number.

While members still conduct many of the classes and workshops, the chapter also invites nationally known teachers who bring new ideas and techniques to the group. Several chapter members have become Master Craftsmen in their favorite medium. Some of the local teachers have been certified by EGA.

The chapter conducts an active Outreach program of community service. Members stitch samplers that are presented to the new owners of Habitat for Humanity homes, collect toiletries and supplies for the homeless, and sponsor Christmas in July gifts for The Haven, a local children's shelter. Members exhibit their work in local library displays and community centers. A "show and tell" is a part of every monthly meeting.

An education program is a major part of the chapter's and EGA's creed. Classes and workshops are offered in various stitching techniques throughout the year, both at beginner and advanced levels. Beginner classes are held every year to teach children at the Satellite Beach Library's recreation program. The chapter has also taught embroidery to Girl Scouts as part of their Merit Badge requirements. Their stitched pieces, "Sea Life in Stitches," grace the walls of the Wuesthoff Progressive Care Center in Viera.

The chapter is supported by dues and Ways and Means projects such as the annual booksale and the Silent Auction of donated needlework supplies. Now in its fourth year, the stitched tree-topper angel is a successful opportunity drawing and the angel goes home from the holiday luncheon with the lucky winner.

Social events include the holiday luncheon and a May event celebrating the founding of the chapter. Stitch-ins are also held on a weekly basis at members' homes and community rooms throughout the area. Current information is listed on the chapter's website and calendar.



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