SaddleBrooke Residents and Square Dancers Team Up to Make Medical Masks

Rick Beeble, Donna Martin, and Elaine Beeble

Rick Beeble, Donna Martin, and Elaine Beeble

Richard Martin

In early April and at the suggestion of Rick and Elaine Beeble, the SaddleBrooke (SB) Squares 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 registered nurse and excellent sewist, went online and found 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 volunteer sewists 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.

To date, the original goal of 500 was exceeded to over 1,000 medical masks actually made and distributed. Wow! There are too many wonderful volunteers who have helped with this project to list each one by name. However, you know who you are and you have demonstrated through your actions that you have loved one another. On behalf of all the recipients of those masks, a very big thank you to everyone who has given the time and talent to make this happen.