A local facemask does double duty

Thu, 11/05/2020 - 7:30pm

A small cloth facemask can be a powerful tool.

This has been proved during the past six months or so when the mask was found to be effective in slowing the spread of Covid-19.

But island resident Chris Willi found another use. He designed a mask with a small profile of the island on the left hand side of the cloth — a white image sitting in a sea of blue — sold them for $6 and then turned over a check for more than $5,100 to the Block Island Volunteer Fire Department.

“At the beginning of the pandemic, from a business perspective, I was concerned with businesses having access to masks and sanitizer,” said Willi. Island resident Sandra Finizia “put me in touch with her sister-in-law that makes masks. They were inexpensive and then I sent an email out to the businesses and said they were available in case you have a shortage.”

The masks soon became Block Island chic. They were ubiquitous during the summer.

“The motivation for it being a fundraiser for the Fire Department and and Rescue was because the Rescue Squad was short-handed and the Fire Department couldn’t hold their fundraisers. You couldn’t have a typical fundraiser without breaking all the rules.”

The masks went on the market for six bucks and so far the Willi family has sold about 1,700 of them.

“I think Roberta Closter sold hundreds by herself just from wearing one at The Oar!” Willi said.

The masks are still available, and they’re obviously still needed. To order, text Chris Willi at (401) 742-3992 or email at bifishworks@msn.com.