Whitecaps broadcaster Kelly Schultz puts her passion to work sewing masks during pandemic

With over 100 masks made, she has no plans to stop anytime soon.

As the pandemic wears on, manufactures in the hockey community have stepped up to support efforts to get personal protective equipment into the hands of those who need it most.

Bauer, a PWHPA partner, shifted facilities from making hockey masks to face shields for the medical community. They shared their design openly to encourage other companies to help produce the shields, and Sparx Hockey followed suit using the design.  American Giant, an NWHL partner, is making HHS-certified masks in their factories.

But it’s not just large scale corporations pitching in. Ordinary citizens are helping fill gaps. Minnesota Whitecaps broadcaster Kelly Schultz is among them.

Schultz has been sewing since she was 8 and currently has her own company, Angeline Alice Millinery, where she creates women’s hats and fascinators. It was a natural transition for her to start sewing masks when the pandemic arose.

“I started making masks when I heard from friends in the health care field that there was a shortage of masks,” she explained an email with The Ice Garden.

“I have three close friends who work at major hospitals in the Twin Cities. Lara is a respiratory therapist, Sylvia is a nurse working on the front lines, and Rachael works at a children’s hospital. My friend Corinne works at the hospital here in Bemidji and has a daughter with Downs Syndrome, which means she is at a higher risk.”

She found a pattern through a fashion designer she recently collaborated with, and from there she was off, despite the fact that local health care workers couldn’t necessarily use them.

Schultz has found others who can, though, with requests coming from all over the country.

“One lady reached out to me saying she works in public transportation in Washington D.C. I sent her a few more masks than she had asked for because of the risk she is putting herself in as an essential worker. Plus, she mentioned she has asthma. I can’t even imagine how scared she is for her life right now.”

But they’ve also come closer to home and from her hockey community in Minnesota. “Another good friend of mine, who I know through my connections with Bemidji Youth Hockey and Bemidji State hockey, works for REM Northstar, a collection of group homes for adults with disabilities. I found out they need 200 masks for staff and clients. I’ve been working on filling their need for masks,” she explained.

Her total as of Friday is over 100 masks. Besides her home state and Washington D.C, she’s also shipped them to essential workers in Georgia, South Carolina, and Maryland.

Schultz calls creating hats and fascinators her creative outlet outside of sports broadcasting and working for a radio station in Bemidji, Minnesota. But for now, that part of her life is on hold.

“Until we get through this pandemic, I have put my millinery making aside. I want to do my part to help my family, friends, neighbors and community stay healthy during these uncertain times. It is so fulfilling to use my God-given talents for the greater good.”

If you’d like to donate to Kelly to help offset the purchase of materials and shipping, you can do so via her Venmo.

Editor’s Note: Kelly shared the link to the pattern and video for the masks she’s been making.