Rutledge resident Mary Bellebuono meets Michael Stipe of REM.

Rutledge resident Mary Bellebuono meets Michael Stipe of REM.

Rutledge resident Mary Bellebuono met Michael Stipe of REM Sunday, Nov. 17, at Hendershot’s Coffee Bar in Athens during her daughter Angelian’s art opening of “Stitching Hope|Sewing HOme, which runs through November. Both women are volunteering with the Athens-based non-profit Women to the World, as they work on the PALS of Athens Musicians project, a sewing cooperative outreach program designed to teach women sewing and entrepreneurial skills. Mary has been helping to sew one-of-a-kind art pillows of Atlens’ musicians Claire Campbell, Dave Schools, Patterson Hood, Kevin Barnes and Michael Stipe, while Angelina has been documenting the entire PALS sewing project and the women it serves. Guests at the art opening were surprised by Stipe’s appearance and he spent several minutes posing for pictures and signing pillows. Mary had just finished her pillow of Stipe, but did not know who he was. “I had no idea he was so famous,” she said after the event. “but I was really glad to meet him!” Proceeds from the event benefit Women to the World and the PALS project. For more information or to order at Michael Stipe pillow, visit www.palsofathensmusicians.org. Photo Special