Deirdre Dubato, president of the Rotary Club of Rocky Point, said that when she first heard of the Million Mask Challenge just after Christmas, she knew her club had to get involved.
Along with other Long Island-based rotaries, the Million Mask Challenge is inspired to help people in need of masks within the community.
Earlier this month, 40 rotaries from Brooklyn to Montauk gathered in Hicksville to retrieve a batch of masks to distribute to schools, food pantries and shelters.
The Million Mask Challenge — originally created by Rotary International — began when The Rossi Family Foundation donated hundreds of thousands of masks to the local chapter, in hopes that along with the donation, more masks could be acquired and reach a million people worldwide.
Dubato said that since they gathered in early January, 14,000 adult masks and 1,000 kids-sized masks were brought to different organizations.
“Every soup kitchen, food pantry and school district are having issues finding masks,” she said.
So, they decided to help out by donating to local spots that were in need. The 1,000 children’s masks went to the North Shore Youth Council and to Blessings in a Backpack — which helps students in the Longwood Central School District.
And it won’t stop there. Dubato said that as long as they keep gaining masks, they will continue to distribute them.
The Rotary Club of Rocky Point covers the Rocky Point, Miller Place, Shoreham-Wading River, Middle Island and Longwood School districts.
Dubato said they’re always looking for new members.
“If giving back to the community is your goal,” she said, “Then you are welcome.”
PHOTO: Deirdre Dubato and Suzanne Johnson present to one of the many organizations the Rocky Point Rotary Club donated masks to.
Photograph by Kevin Mann.