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Army of retired women in Aurora neighborhood make masks for first responders

Posted at 6:34 AM, Apr 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-27 08:47:13-04

AURORA, Colo. — Something very special is happening at Heather Gardens in Aurora. An army of women from the retirement community has banded together to make masks for first responders.

Aleta Antoinette, who organized the effort, said it started out with eight to 10 people.

"Now we’re up to 34," she said.

The group calls themselves the Face Mask Warriors.

Even with the state of Colorado slowly reopening, things will look a lot different and wearing masks will likely be encouraged for weeks to come.

The Face Mask Warriors' team leader, Carolyn Morris, said she enjoys helping others, and has made it a point in her life to do so.

Her son-in-law, Bob Stef, is a bureau chief for the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office. She approached him to see if there was a need for masks.

"Before I know it, she has a whole entire army of quilters over at Heather Gardens making masks," Stef said, smiling. "Carolyn kept bringing masks over to the house and I kept distributing them."

Morris's daughter works at Children's Hospital, so the group started distributing masks there too.

"We have people who have cut hundreds of masks," said Antoinette. "People have donated fabric, elastic and wires. People have reached out in so many different ways."

The Face Mask Warriors are making masks for their own neighbors too, with many of them the most vulnerable to COVID-19.

"They’re amazing individuals," Stef said. "They are selfless. They are providing a need for the community."