Under a cloudy but rain-free sky, the Brunswick Forest Stitchers visited the Battleship North Carolina Memorial in Wilmington to make a special presentation. The women’s group, known as the Shelmore Stitchers, from Leland’s Brunswick Forest community, made 80 personal use masks for the volunteers who work on the ship, and presented them to Michael Zalob, Chairman of the Battleship North Carolina Friends. Michael coordinates the work of community volunteers who devote their time and efforts to work at the ship in various capacities.
The event brought the total number of masks delivered to the Battleship North Carolina to 105. A first batch of 25 masks, made by Nancy D’Abrosca and Marilyn O’Brien, was presented to the staff and gift shop workers on the day that the ship opened to the public. The Memorial had been closed as a result of the COVID-19 restrictions on public gatherings. Eight women made the second batch of 80 at the request of Zalob. The Battleship North Carolina Friends chose the distinctive star-decorated red, white, and blue material so that the visiting public could distinguish the ship volunteers from others on board.
To ensure that the masks were identical, kits were assembled with directions for each of the eight women who had committed to making ten each. Upon completion, Nancy cleaned the masks and packaged them along with filters and instructions on how the wearers should care for their new masks.
The community mask-makers have been busy making and donating masks since April 2020. Organized by Nancy D’Abrosca and Cindy Bryant, the group consists of 20 material donors, cutters, and seamstresses. The group has made and presented over 800 masks to various local non-profit organizations such as Brunswick Senior Resources, Inc., Brunswick Family Assistance, Brunswick Cove Living Center, patients of NHRMC in Brunswick Forest, the New Chapter Book Club, as well as for staff and customers at local small businesses such as Hickman’s Pharmacy and others.
Credit for their work and commitment to community goes to Lynn Keller and Debby White, who donated time to cut and prepare materials. The American Sewing Guild, Diane Gray, and Sandy Rueda, donated materials to the group’s overall efforts. The seamstresses also donated materials and include Arliss Bailey, Marena Brons, Cindy Bryant, Ann Carbone, Nancy D’Abrosca, Kathleen Giadone, Diane Guididas, Cornelia Maxted, Dara McCarthy, Marilyn O’Brien, Elizabeth Ord, Suzy Pearson, Barbara Sloyer, Anne Tapaszi, and Joan Zeltmann.