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Hospital volunteer's 1,000 hats keep newborns warm

  • Cooley Dickinson Hospital clinical nurse manager Jennifer Lacasse, right, puts a hat knitted by Nancy Lanning, center, of Northampton onto newborn Domenic Rindone, being held by his mother, Britney Skiff, of Erving on Monday in Northampton. It is the 1000th hat that Lanning has knitted for the Childbirth Center at CDH in the last nine years but this is the first time that she has seen one of the newborns wear one. Domenic was born Saturday to Skiff and Nuni Rindone.<br/>KEVIN GUTTING

    Cooley Dickinson Hospital clinical nurse manager Jennifer Lacasse, right, puts a hat knitted by Nancy Lanning, center, of Northampton onto newborn Domenic Rindone, being held by his mother, Britney Skiff, of Erving on Monday in Northampton. It is the 1000th hat that Lanning has knitted for the Childbirth Center at CDH in the last nine years but this is the first time that she has seen one of the newborns wear one. Domenic was born Saturday to Skiff and Nuni Rindone.
    KEVIN GUTTING Purchase photo reprints »

  • Cooley Dickinson Hospital Childbirth Center nurse Lisa DuVoie, left, brings out two-day-old Domenic Rindone with his mother, Britney Skiff, center, of Erving on Monday to receive the gift of a baby hat knitted by Nancy Lanning, right, of Northampton. It is the 1000th hat that Lanning has knitted for the Childbirth Center in the last nine years but this is the first time that she has seen one of her hats worn by a newborn at CDH. Domenic was born Saturday to Skiff and Nuni Rindone.<br/>KEVIN GUTTING

    Cooley Dickinson Hospital Childbirth Center nurse Lisa DuVoie, left, brings out two-day-old Domenic Rindone with his mother, Britney Skiff, center, of Erving on Monday to receive the gift of a baby hat knitted by Nancy Lanning, right, of Northampton. It is the 1000th hat that Lanning has knitted for the Childbirth Center in the last nine years but this is the first time that she has seen one of her hats worn by a newborn at CDH. Domenic was born Saturday to Skiff and Nuni Rindone.
    KEVIN GUTTING Purchase photo reprints »

  • Nancy Lanning of Northampton, who celebrated her 87th birthday this month, smiles while talking about the 1000 baby hats she has knitted for the Childbirth Center at Cooley Dickinson Hospital over the last nine years. On Monday she presented the 1000th hat to Domenic Rindone who was born Saturday to Britney Skiff and Nuni Rindone of Erving.<br/>KEVIN GUTTING

    Nancy Lanning of Northampton, who celebrated her 87th birthday this month, smiles while talking about the 1000 baby hats she has knitted for the Childbirth Center at Cooley Dickinson Hospital over the last nine years. On Monday she presented the 1000th hat to Domenic Rindone who was born Saturday to Britney Skiff and Nuni Rindone of Erving.
    KEVIN GUTTING Purchase photo reprints »

  • Nancy Lanning, left, of Northampton chats with new parents Nuni Rindone, center, and Britney Skiff of Erving at Cooley Dickinson Hospital on Monday after presenting their son, Domenic Rindone, with the 1000th baby hat she has knitted and donated to the Childbirth Center at CDH. Over the last nine years of knitting, this is the first time she has seen one of the newborns sporting one.<br/>KEVIN GUTTING

    Nancy Lanning, left, of Northampton chats with new parents Nuni Rindone, center, and Britney Skiff of Erving at Cooley Dickinson Hospital on Monday after presenting their son, Domenic Rindone, with the 1000th baby hat she has knitted and donated to the Childbirth Center at CDH. Over the last nine years of knitting, this is the first time she has seen one of the newborns sporting one.
    KEVIN GUTTING Purchase photo reprints »

  • Cooley Dickinson Hospital clinical nurse manager Jennifer Lacasse, right, puts a hat knitted by Nancy Lanning, center, of Northampton onto newborn Domenic Rindone, being held by his mother, Britney Skiff, of Erving on Monday in Northampton. It is the 1000th hat that Lanning has knitted for the Childbirth Center at CDH in the last nine years but this is the first time that she has seen one of the newborns wear one. Domenic was born Saturday to Skiff and Nuni Rindone.<br/>KEVIN GUTTING
  • Cooley Dickinson Hospital Childbirth Center nurse Lisa DuVoie, left, brings out two-day-old Domenic Rindone with his mother, Britney Skiff, center, of Erving on Monday to receive the gift of a baby hat knitted by Nancy Lanning, right, of Northampton. It is the 1000th hat that Lanning has knitted for the Childbirth Center in the last nine years but this is the first time that she has seen one of her hats worn by a newborn at CDH. Domenic was born Saturday to Skiff and Nuni Rindone.<br/>KEVIN GUTTING
  • Nancy Lanning of Northampton, who celebrated her 87th birthday this month, smiles while talking about the 1000 baby hats she has knitted for the Childbirth Center at Cooley Dickinson Hospital over the last nine years. On Monday she presented the 1000th hat to Domenic Rindone who was born Saturday to Britney Skiff and Nuni Rindone of Erving.<br/>KEVIN GUTTING
  • Nancy Lanning, left, of Northampton chats with new parents Nuni Rindone, center, and Britney Skiff of Erving at Cooley Dickinson Hospital on Monday after presenting their son, Domenic Rindone, with the 1000th baby hat she has knitted and donated to the Childbirth Center at CDH. Over the last nine years of knitting, this is the first time she has seen one of the newborns sporting one.<br/>KEVIN GUTTING

Baby Domenic Rindone was sleeping away, but thanks to one Cooley Dickinson Hospital volunteer, he was sleeping a little warmer and with a little more style, wearing a hand-knit blue hat, the 1,000th made for the hospital’s Childbirth Center by Northampton resident Nan Lanning.

“Isn’t it amazing, as happy as can be,” Lanning said as she gave Domenic his present.

Every newborn leaving the Childbirth Center is given a hand-knit hat, made by the 30 volunteers who help with the task. Lanning says she loves that hospital and finds being able to give newborns the hats a rewarding service.

“I’ve been told that it’s just marvelous for the parents and babies. They are just so honored by the hospital giving them a hat,” Lanning said.

Domenic’s mother, Britney Skiff, quite agrees.

“I love it, it’s beautiful,” said Skiff, of Erving.

Lanning was pleased to finally give away one of her hats personally Monday.

“He was precious,” she said. “That meant so much to me to really see the baby.”

Lanning started knitting the hats for Cooley Dickinson over eight years ago, and has since logged more than 3,200 hours doing so.

“I just enjoy it, it is very satisfying to me to do it,” she said after she presented baby Domenic with his new hat.

The occasion was a special one for Lanning, because not only did she reach her “private goal” of 1,000 hats, but she also had never actually seen a baby leave the hospital with one of her creations.

The occasion helped to kick off National Volunteer Recognition Week for the hospital, which has more than 400 volunteers. Robin Kline, director of volunteer services, said the work being done throughout the whole hospital by its many dedicated volunteers would be worth about $900,000 a year.

Lanning, who turned 87 on April 13, previously knit hats for St. Luke’s hospital in New Bedford. Before dedicating her volunteer work to hats at Cooley Dickinson, she volunteered in the emergency room.

Lanning said she was taught how to knit by her mother and remembers first learning to knit socks, and the challenge she faced by learning how to knit the heel. Later, she moved to V-neck sweaters, because she loved the style, but couldn’t find them in stores.

She says that she doesn’t watch much television, but can’t stand to sit still. So, she knits.

Even though Lanning reached her goal of 1,000 hats, she already has another hat on her needles and plans to keep going.

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