In early April at the suggestion of Rick and Elaine Beeble of the SaddleBrooke (SB) Squares, the Squares and their sister club, Rancheros Square Dance Club, undertook a formidable challenge to make 500 medical masks for visiting nurses, Senior Village volunteers, vulnerable SaddleBrooke residents, nursing homes, foster care social workers, pediatric clinics, Tucson Medical Clinic, and many others.
Elaine, a former nurse and excellent sewer, went online and found that Deaconess Hospital in the state of Washington had what she considered to be the best design for such a mask. The next challenge was to assemble the needed materials to make these masks. As they were thinking about where to get the many needed yards of quality fabric, Rick and Elaine remembered their SB Square Dance Club had an inventory of very colorful material that was once used to decorate club shirts and dresses, so they made a quick call to Richard and Donna Martin, presidents of the SaddleBrooke Squares, asking if that fabric could be used to make medical masks. In a blink of an eye, there were 12 bolts of fabric sitting on a table in Elaine’s sewing room.
Making a mask on a home sewing machine is a very time-consuming task (20 to 30 minutes each), so they sent out a cry for help to their fellow square dancers, and they soon had eight volunteers and others willing to help in any way needed. However, the Beebles wanted to get these masks into the hands of the people needing them ASAP, so Rick put a post in SaddleBrooke NextDoor Neighbor asking who had a sewing machine and was willing to help sew these masks. Before they knew it, they had 19 more ladies stitching away on their home sewing machines.
Among the volunteers answering the call were two Ranchers—Aileen Waters, her husband Doug, and their two dogs have only been at the Ranch two months, having moved here into Unit 10 from Denver. Aileen has a background in the medical field and had made masks previously. She saw the request for volunteers on NextDoor and jumped right in.
Kathy Lapsys from the Villas, Unit 14A, also answered the call she saw on NextDoor. Kathy has been at the Ranch about two years. She and her husband, Mike, also have a home in Mexico where they spend quite a lot of time. They are currently at the end of the construction of a new home there and would like to return to see its completion, but the last four flights have been cancelled. Kathy said she would be happy to make masks for anyone at the Ranch who needs one, provided she can get the materials. She makes them with or without a pocket for a coffee filter, and the price would vary depending on the style.
To date, the original goal of 500 has grown to over 1,500 medical masks actually made and distributed. Wow! Thanks to all the volunteers and most especially to Aileen and Kathy for jumping in to help. These are just the kind of people we want as friends and neighbors here at SaddleBrooke Ranch.