The Million Mask Challenge Tour delivered 140,000 protective masks to 7950 on Wednesday, Oct. 7, with stops in Westport and Providence. Rotarians from all parts of the district have now begun distributing them to first responders and essential workers in their communities. District Governor Charlene Jarest offered thanks to the benefactor and organizers: "Thank you to Ted Rossi, The Rossi Foundation, Jack Solomon PDG, Bob Friend and all of the Rotarians involved in this wonderful gift!  All of the recipients of the masks will be in a safer place because of this.  Thank you, again!!"
The Rotary Million Mask Challenge* Tour reached all six New England states between Oct. 5 and 7.
A truck filled with 800,000 masks made stops in Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine before reaching Southeast Massachusetts and Rhode Island. (An additional 200,000 masks were distributed across Connecticut in the spring, making the total one million.) All were donated by Ted Rossi, an East Hampton, CT, philanthropist and Rotarian, and the Rossi Family Foundation.
Non-profit and government agencies that will receive masks from Rotary clubs in the district include fire and rescue, nursing homes and other health care services, food pantries, social services and schools.
*What’s the challenge?
“The challenge of the Rotary Million Mask Challenge Tour is based on the premise that Rotarians are People of Action,” said Dr. Jack Solomon, governor of Rotary District 7980, which encompasses the southern half of Connecticut.
“With this as our guide, we first challenge each Rotary Club engaging with this project to
guarantee that each and every PPE they receive is delivered to community based first responders and essential workers.
“Secondly, as we transition into the colder months, we challenge Rotarians across the country to join our cause by leveraging their own resources to deliver protection and safety to first responders and essential workers at the vital core of our communities,
“Last, we challenge our Rotary corporate partners, NGO’s and the business community whom
we connect with every day to step up to the plate and support this effort.“