Saco City Administrator Bryan Kaenrath, Mayor William Doyle, Saco and Biddeford Savings CFO and United Way of York County treasurer Brian Ballute and UWYC President Brian Petrovek display some of the 1,000 masks UWYC recently donated to the city. In all, the United Way of York County donated 5,000 reusable, washable masks to five municipalities in York County. Tammy Wells Photo

SACO — Face coverings remain a necessary safety factor in combatting the spread of coronavirus — and the city of Saco was recently gifted 1,000 fabric masks to help in that effort.

Representatives of the United Way of York County and Saco and Biddeford Savings Institution delivered the masks to City Hall on Wednesday morning, Dec. 9.

United Way of York County President Brian Petrovek and Saco and Biddeford Savings Chief Financial Officer Brian Ballute, also the UWYC treasurer, delivered the masks to Mayor William Doyle and City Administrator Bryan Kaenrath at City Hall.

The masks, sewn in Leominster, Massachusetts, in a program initiated by office furniture maker AIS, are among 5,000 UWYC has distributed in the county, said Petrovek. Others went to Biddeford, Kennebunk, Sanford, and Buxton.

The United Way of York County delivered 1,000 washable reusable fabric face masks to the city of Saco on Dec. 9, among 5,000 in total delivered to five York County communities. Tammy Wells Photo

Petrovek said the United Way of York County acquired the masks from its UW counterparts in central Massachusetts, which partnered with AIS in the “Sew the Masks” program. The program’s goal is to create and donate up to 1 million high quality, washable and reusable face masks for first responders and others at high risk of infection during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the AIS website. The masks are made by volunteer sewing enthusiasts who request a kit from AIS to sew 50 masks. They return them, in packaging provided, to AIS, which checks and distributes them.

Kaenrath said the masks will be distributed to the city’s first responders.

Saco Mayor Doyle applauded the organizations involved in coming together to benefit municipalities.

“It helps our community and sends a message of hope and caring,” he said.

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