Bob and Debbie Lunning had no idea the kind of adventure they were embarking on when their daughter Tobi, an emergency room nurse at Kaiser Roseville, called to ask if her parents would make masks for the hospital’s nurses. The washable masks could be worn over their N95 masks to help them last longer. Tobi figured the YouTube video she sent her mother on mask making would be easy for her to follow. After all, Debbie had sewn their clothing when they were little, so this should be no problem. Bob and Debbie knew they could never accomplish what they needed to do on their own, so they brought together a team. That team would eventually expand to include fellow Paradise Valley Estates residents, family members and staff and become a very efficient mask-making machine: the PVE Masketeers. Just a few weeks later, they’d already made nearly 600 masks!
How did they do it? It began with collecting fabric and elastic from community residents. Some of the most colorful and fun fabric patterns and images were donated by quilters. The fabric had themes and funny images, which would be great for putting a smile on people’s faces in this challenging time. Residents’ families also pitched in providing fabric and sewing masks as well.
By the time the hospital’s order was fulfilled, the Masketeers had gained a reputation around campus. People were talking and the PVE staff took notice. They asked the volunteers if they’d expand their mask-making efforts to provide PPE for the Laurel Creek skilled nursing community residents, and housekeeping and administrative staff. Their secondary mission eventually expanded to include security, dining services, Quail Creek employees and other PVE residents. By now their team included 22 sewers, seven distributors and three PVE team members.
More than simply sewing to pass the time, this volunteer team united to help others in the area and within the Paradise Valley Estates community itself. The mask makers group, which welcomed involvement from anyone who was interested, relied on connections, creativity and, of course, skilled and not-quite-as-skilled stitchers. That it came to be in the first place speaks to the type of people who have chosen to make Paradise Valley Estates home. It’s a team at the ready, willing and able.
Thank you to all the PVE resident Masketeers: Isabel Buzko, Marilyn Byington, Ginny Caspersen, Joan Coor, Jean Cotter, Gretchen Dakin, Myrna DeMartino, Verna Dow, Ruth Endsley, Loretta Epperson, Ellen Fisher, Connie Grammes, Jan Heise, Susan Hogan, Caroline Keller, Debbie Lunning, Linda McCrory, Anne Ruth, Marianne Siembieda, Marianne Smith, Chuck and Sue Smith, Sarah Teranishi, Susan Hogan, Dick Lubman, Bob Lunning, Paul Morgan, and Jim and Sally Lunn’s family. And thanks to PVE staff member Masketeers: Melody Roberts, Annette Perkins, Peggy Huston and Amanda Pereira.
Visit the Greater Good to learn how our Life Plan Community residents and team members are working hard to keep our community well and safe.