Everyone needs a mask — a good one. But just a few miles from here, plenty of kids can’t afford one.
In one of the most brilliant partnerships since the pandemic struck, the Bedford Middle School PTA and Westport Masks has teamed up to help the Read School in Bridgeport, which serves 800 youngsters in pre-K through 8.
The PTA is selling masks (and gaiters). For every one sold, two will be donated to Read. The program launched less than a week ago, yet enough orders have already been received to supply 250 masks to Read.
Westport Masks’ team volunteers hand-create each donation mask. The PTA sourced a 2-ply, 100% cotton style mask with a filter pocket. The design is a royal blue and white bandanna print, with 2 layers of 100% cotton and reinforced stitched nose for a comfortable fit. There are adjustable ear straps; another strap allows the mask to hang from the neck. There is no logo. Sizes are teen and adult.
As for gaiters: They are less likely than masks to be lost, can be easily pulled up and down as needed (for drinking water, eating lunch and outside during PE), and are comfortable. Designs include blue camo, blue and white shibori tie-dye, and micro-stripe/blue fade (the only one with the BMS bear logo). One size fits all.
Both styles are washable.
The cost is $20 for the gaiters (1 for your child or yourself, 2 others donated), $14 for the masks. The PTA notes that sales are not restricted to Bedford; everyone can (and should!) buy the face coverings.
To order, click here. To arrange pickup (a week before school begins) or for questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org. To help WestportMasks with sewing or fabric cutting, email email@example.com.
Heather Grahame has been an athlete all her life. In 1972 she captained Staples High School’s field hockey team. She played 2 more years at Mount Holyoke College, then transferred to Stanford University.
During college summers she leveraged her experience as a Compo Beach lifeguard to teach swimming, water safety and first aid in rural Aleut villages. The state of Alaska funded the program, to combat a high drowning rate.
After graduating from the University of Oregon law school, Grahame headed to Anchorage to practice public utility law. In 2010 she moved to Montana.
She’s on the road a lot. But she finds time to train for triathlons. Though she began when she was 56, it’s a natural for her.
In the 1980s Grahame competed in bicycle racing on the US Women’s Circuit. She placed 6th at the 1988 Olympic team time trials.
She and her family then became competitive sled dog racers. Her top international finish — 6th — came at the 2000 Women’s World Championships.
As for triathlons — well, okay. Grahame actually did a full Ironman. That’s a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride, and a 26.2-mile run.
The other day, she was a guest on the Purple Patch Fitness podcast. Host Matt Dixon is a top fitness and triathlon coach. She’s lived most of her life out west, but Grahame talked quite a bit about Westport and Staples sports. Click here for a very entertaining hour.
And finally … tonight the Remarkable Theater screens “Elf.” It’s “Christmas in July” — and drive-in moviegoers are encouraged to dress (and decorate their cars) appropriately.
And because we need a little Christmas (right this very minute), here’s “06880”s contribution. Starring, of course, our talented and beloved former neighbor, Eartha Kitt.