Kathy Ness worked producing masks and other scarce medical items during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Northfield Rotary recently named Kathy Ness its 2022 Good Neighbor for her work producing masks and other scarce medical items during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The award goes each year to a non member whose work reflects the club motto “service above self.” Kathy was honored at the club’s November 10 meeting.

Kathy, formerly the children’s librarian at Northfield Public Library, had been promoting recycled handmade washable bookbags for some time. When the pandemic hit, she and a cadre of sewing friends marshaled resources to provide masks, sheeting, face shields, hospital gowns and more. They collaborated with the hospital for specifications and supplied Northfield with thousands of needed items.

Amy Goerwitz, one of two club members who nominated Kathy, wrote in her submission: “By the end of 2020 her group had sewn over 36,000 face masks, 330-plus microfiber isolation gowns, 800-plus surgical wrap gowns, and 1200 Northfield Super Face Shields. This remarkable effort required over 4,055 yards of elastic, 1,113 yards of fabric, 55 microfiber sheet sets, 290 spools of thread, 28 serger thread cones, 96 yards of velcro, 800 sewing machine needles, and over 10,000 nose pieces. They were still sewing into 2021, so all these numbers only increased.”

At the November meeting, Rotary presented Kathy with a Paul Harris Fellow plaque acknowledging a club donation of $1,000 to the Rotary Foundation in her name. In addition, she received a $200 discretionary stipend.

Northfield Rotary is a 140-member service club that promotes peace and understanding through cultural exchange and service projects.