MAHWAH, N.J. — Ben Kezmarsky can cover himself in a quilt of Mahwah imagery thanks to a Wyckoff church group.
Grace Quilters of Grace United Methodist Church in Wyckoff made the quilt for Kezmarsky after he was diagnosed with cancer last year. Tammy Marcus and her fellow quilters Julia Chang, Merryl Dietz and Jane Clemente started gathering shirts months ago to use for their creation.
"It was a complete surprise to him," Marcus said after giving Kezmarsky the quilt. "He had no idea I was doing this or that anything was coming about. He was amazed and so grateful and thankful."
Kezmarsky lived in Mahwah his whole life. A husband and father of three, he worked as borough administrator of Westwood and in Bergen County government as well.
His quilt features many recreation logos from Mahwah, the town he loves.
"He's just like Mr. Mahwah," Marcus said. "He's like a giant teddy bear. ... Just a really great guy, real sweetheart."
Kesmarsky underwent chemotherapy and continued treatments in March. Given how much time he may spend in bed, Marcus wanted him to have a quilt with the familiar sights of Mahwah.
Marcus said there was plenty of support when she set out to find shirts to use for Kezmarsky's quilt. They had garbage bags full of options.
Grace Quilters started in Wyckoff last June and made seven quilts since then. They meet every Thursday from 9 a.m. to noon and are always looking for more quilters, Marcus said.