Class of ’69 produces over 600 handmade masks for hospitals, medical centers


HONOLULU (KHON2) — Over the past few weeks, KHON has brought you numerous stories of people and organizations coming together to do good during this pandemic.

In this case, a group made up of graduates from Roosevelt, McKinley and Kalani High Schools’ Class of 1969.

Working separately, but together, this combined class of ’69 had a sudden and somewhat rare period of downtime on their hands.

“We had scheduled a 15-day cruise to China and Japan that was canceled,” said Vince Yim, who is a part of the Roosevelt Class of ’69.

So with nothing to do, the coconut wireless started to go off.

“And Rhonda Nishimura, one of our classmates said that she was listening to the news and said there is a dire need her for respirators and facemasks,” Yim said.

Luckily for them, another one of their members loves to sew. And before you knew it they were in full production mode — all the while staying mindful of the state’s stay at home policy.

“There were 39 of us on the committee and I did not want cross-contamination. So sad to say normally when we have activities, we come together. In this case, we had to stay isolated.”

But with the energy of the entire group behind them, they started cutting, sewing, and ultimately washing, and packing more than 600 of the handmade masks. Which they delivered to different hospitals and medical centers across the island.

“Over the years of always looked at what we could do instead of just being a social club,” said Yim. “Every year we find a couple things to do every year we do the volunteer for the Salvation Army Thanksgiving can we do the Waikiki walk.”

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