Hertzberg Names Madeleine Fugate, creator of the COVID-19 Memorial Quilt, as the 18th Senate District Woman of the Year

March 15, 2021

Madeleine Fugate was born in Los Angeles, and is being raised by a single mom. She is 14 years old and an 8th grade honors student at The Buckley School in Sherman Oaks, California. Her COVID-19 Memorial Quilt began in April 2020 as a 7thgrade Community Action Project. The theme was "Young Changemakers in a COVID-19 World."  In an emotional moment, Madeleine was watching the evening news and heard the phrase "the numbers" are going up - and she said, "They're not numbers, they're people who died and they deserve to be remembered!" That realization became the mission statement for the COVID-19 Memorial Quilt.

After hearing stories from her mother who worked on the AIDS Memorial Quilt, and how healing it was at the time to remember those who had died of HIV/AIDS, Madeleine decided to make a Memorial Quilt to remember those who died from another deadly virus in a new pandemic, COVID-19. Word spread about the new quilt, and soon it outgrew a school project, and has become a global project of healing and remembrance. One panel of the COVID-19 Memorial Quilt will be displayed at the California Science Center in Downtown Los Angeles. 

Madeleine's hobbies include building miniature sets, visual art, character design, making clothes, and playing the piano and violin. Her inspiration to do something to help people heal comes from watching other teenage girls use their voice to inspire change - like Greta Thunberg for climate change, Emma Gonzalez for gun safety and Malala for education and women's rights. Madeleine believes we can do something to help better our world - no matter what our age.