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Hay River sisters donate proceeds from sale of facemasks

Shari Burnstad, right, presents a donation to the Hay River Health and Social Services Authority on Oct. 19. Accepting the $1,630 donation are Erin Griffiths, left, the CEO of the health authority, and Dale Snow, the director of client services. The donation comes from the sale of cloth facemasks made by Burnstad and her sister, Pat Burnstad.
Photo courtesy of the Hay River Health and Social Services Authority

Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic earlier this year, two sisters in Hay River have been making cloth facemasks to sell to the community.

And the Hay River Health and Social Services Authority has been the recipient of two donations from that effort.

On Oct. 19, Shari Burnstad presented the health authority with a cheque for $1,630.

Earlier this year, the authority also received $1,145.

That makes a total of $2,775 that Shari Burnstad and her sister Pat Burnstad have donated.

"When the virus came out, Pat and I decided to try to do something to help the people of Hay River, and we decided that we would do masks," said Shari Burnstad.

She added that it feels good to donate the proceeds to the community.

Erin Griffiths, the chief executive officer for the health authority, expressed appreciation to the Burnstad sisters for their "generous" donation.

"We truly appreciate their time, talent and dedication to produce the cloth facemasks for our community and for gifting the HRHSSA with the funds raised," said Griffiths. "The funds will be held in trust for the purchase of future medical equipment."

The Burnstad sisters have been selling the masks for $5 each, but that price recently went up to $10 each to better cover the costs of materials and raise funds to donate.

So far, Shari Burnstad said they have made about 500 masks in a project called Crafts with Care.

That includes a sale of 200 masks to the GNWT.

The sisters have also received a $1,000 grant from the Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment to assist in the mask-making effort.

The Burnstad sisters have more facemasks to sell.

"And we'll probably make a few more," said Shari Burnstad.