Women sew masks for all Holden High graduates


Students in the Holden High Class of 2020 wrapped up their high school lives with a graduation ceremony on Tuesday, June 23. The ceremony was held inside the Walker High gym, where 47 graduates received their hard-earned diplomas.
McHugh David | The News

HOLDEN, La. (The Livingston Parish News) – Holden High graduates received a gift befitting the Class of 2020.

On their last official day as Rockets, each Holden High senior was given a school-spirited face mask as a commemorative parting gift prior to their graduation ceremony on Tuesday, June 23.

The face masks were made by Nancy Hutchinson and her daughter Missy Wild, who sewed 60 of the purple face masks for all of the graduates and presenters. Each mask was stitched with two symbols: On one side was the phrase “Class of 2020,” and on the other was the school’s name along with the Rocket logo.

Face masks have become “the new normal” over the last three months since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus. Health experts have touted their effectiveness in slowing the spread of the new disease, which has reached more than 53,000 cases in Louisiana, including 794 in Livingston Parish.

To slow the spread, Holden High required all of its graduates and staff to wear face masks during the graduation ceremony, which was held inside the Walker High gym.

The school thanked the women for their gesture in a Facebook post the day before the ceremony.

“Thanks to Nancy Hutchinson and Missy Wild of [the Bearded Sportsman] for sewing and making our Class of 2020 Holden Rockets commemorative masks,” the post read.

The mother-daughter sewing team made the masks over the last three weeks, with Hutchinson sewing them together and Wild adding the imprints. Wild said she was impressed that the seniors “hardly took them off,” even during the cap toss.

“They wore them the entire time,” Wild said. “Unless someone got up to speak, they were wearing them.”

The Holden High face masks were part of a larger project among Hutchinson and a group of women known as the “Albany Super Sewers.” So far, the six women have sewn more than 6,000 face masks since the COVID-19 outbreak, with most going to area hospitals.

“We all enjoy getting up each day knowing we have made a difference in many people’s lives just by sewing and we have something to do with our time that will benefit other’s health,” Hutchinson said.

David Gray | The News

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