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Masks made by Lucille Koo are seen at her home in Broomfield on Thursday. A volunteer club at Anthem Ranch has been making masks for students returning to in-person classes this fall. (Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer)
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Anthem Ranch volunteers who churned out more than 3,600 masks are returning to their sewing machines to outfit Broomfield students heading to school in the fall.

Keri Dillingham, executive director of the Broomfield Council on the Arts and Humanities, said the nonprofit has a longstanding relationship with the Anthem volunteer group. They talked to group leader Chris Roarty about offering masks for children and teens

Lucille Koo sews masks at her home in Broomfield on Thursday. A volunteer club at Anthem Ranch has been making masks for students returning to in-person classes this fall. (Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer)

BCAH has had to cancel events, including its major fundraiser, because of COVID-19. Because art-based nonprofits are not considered essential, she said, BCAH did not have access to funding otherwise given toward groups affected by the novel coronavirus.

“A lot of us haven’t had access to disaster relief funding,” she said. “We thought this was a fantastic way BCAH could help the community.”

The group is asking for a donation of $2 per mask or three masks for $5.

People can order the masks by emailing bcah@artsinbroomfield.org. There is a button on the homepage of artsinbroomfield.org where people can submit a donation. A mask community pick-up has been scheduled for 10 to noon and 3 to 5 p.m. Aug. 21 in the parking lot of the Brunner Farmhouse, near East Midway Boulevard and Main Street. People can drive by and receive the masks they ordered.

Since the school year for most is starting remotely, BCAH will hold a second pickup date in late September if there are still masks available.

BCAH had to cancel it’s “Luck of the Irish” St. Patrick’s Day event the day before, Dillingham said. The organization typically hosts it’s annual gala, the largest fundraiser of the year, in February but this year decided to postpone to April or May. Ultimately the event was canceled because of COVID. Last year BCAH also participated in Dancing with the Broomfield Stars and kept a portion of money raised, but that event is also canceled this year. The nonprofit also got “substantially less” funding from Scientific and Cultural Facilities District than what she had applied for, which is also a concern.

“Another big one is holiday photos with Santa,” Dillingham said. “Because of social distancing, we’re not sure if we’re going to be able to hold that.”

Roarty said the ultimate goal was providing affordable masks to students. After covering some of the cost of materials, the proceeds will go to BCAH. For the past three years, members have volunteered for the nonprofit at events, but since COVID-19 hit, have been doing what they can from the safety of their homes since most volunteers are in the vulnerable age demographic.

Previous masks have gone to hospitals, child care facilities, Navajo communities, memory care and others in the community, Roarty said. They were also made available on Nextdoor where there was no charge, but people were asked to make a donation to Broomfield FISH for the nonprofit’s Neighbors Helping Neighbors fundraiser.

After that effort, the original group of about 20 sewers took a break until Dillingham contacted her about the student masks. Roarty said this time, a group of 18 women plan to donate more than 1,200 masks, which will come in three sizes.

Some have been made, but others were still being sewn this week.

The masks are double layer, 100% cotton with elastic around the ears.

August Summer Saturdays

The last Summer Saturday Drive-thru event, presented by BCAH, will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Aug. 15.

The event is free and open to the first 500 cars. Vehicles can enter on Main Street, drive along Community Park Road and exit on Spader Way.

People can sign up on surveymonkey.com/r/AugustDriveThru or email BCAH@ArtsinBroomfield.org for more information.

The event will include art, music and live performances people can enjoy from their vehicle as they drive in front of the Mamie Doud Eisenhower Public Library and Broomfield Auditorium.

Live music will be provided by a flute trio from the Broomfield Symphony Orchestra and Taiko by Toni drumming group. There will also be choreographed dance routines by Dance Arts Studio, a performance by a Boulder Ballet dancer and a traditional East Indian dance by a group from the Colorado Fine Art Association Art. The event will feature 2D and 3D art with pieces by local artists, such as Sally Bullers, the COVIDodo bird sculpture, by Camie Rigirozzi, and a Japanese artifact display, with items including kimonos, kites, and masks, courtesy of Junko Goodwin of the Sister Cities. Sisters Cities is a student exchange program between local students and students of Ueda, Japan.

“More musicians and musical groups, performance groups, and art are being added each day, so sign up your car today and experience the last of these local, creative drive-thru’s before the summer series is complete,” Dillingham said.

This event is made possible with the assistance of: the Broomfield library and auditorium, Holly Clifford of the Broomfield Symphony Orchestra, Anthem Ranch Volunteer Club, BCAH’s Youth Advisory Board, SCFD, Broomfield Community Foundation, Century Chevrolet, Broomfield Police Department and many volunteers.

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