Auburn equipment manager ‘sews’ how to help during COVID-19

Auburn equipment manager ‘sews’ how to help during COVID-19
Mar 28, 2020; Auburn, AL, USA; Dana Marquez works on masks for coronavirus aid at the Auburn Athletics Complex. (Source: Shanna Lockwood/Shanna Lockwood/AU Athletics)

AUBURN, Ala. (WSFA) - You may remember Auburn Equipment Manager Dana Marquez from the 2013 Iron Bowl.

“I’ve sewn on field many a times, it’s just that that one specific game, I didn’t realize there was a camera over the top of my head while I was doing it,” said Marquez. “I didn’t realize that sewing was going to be that big of a deal for me to have when I got into this industry, but it’s definitely something I’ve used quite a bit.”

Little did he know, seven years later those sewing skills would be used to help stop the spread of a pandemic.

“Allen Green really wanted the community and our athletic department to come together to see how we could help Auburn’s community,” said Marquez. “One of the things he brought up was sewing, and so I kinda took it from there.”

And “sew” it began; just like the Auburn football team working together on the gridiron, Dana mobilized his entire staff, friends, and even his family to help create the masks.

“My daughter, who’s a medical student here at Auburn, really jumped in. She’s just finished her third block of medical school, so this was a great movement for her. Our goal was to make 100 masks last week," he said. "We did that in two days, but now we can get about 75 masks done in a day.”

Mar 28, 2020; Auburn, AL, USA; Dana Marquez works on masks for coronavirus aid at the Auburn Athletics Complex.
Mar 28, 2020; Auburn, AL, USA; Dana Marquez works on masks for coronavirus aid at the Auburn Athletics Complex. (Source: Shanna Lockwood/Shanna Lockwood/AU Athletics)

Dana said he knew it would feel good to help his community, but passing that first box of completed masks to nurses at East Alabama Medical Center was unlike anything he’d ever experienced.

“When I delivered that first package, you feel it,” he said. “There were about five, maybe six nurses that were inside that door, that stood up and just clapped and said thank you, and that right there, that did it.”

Since then, Dana’s team has worked around the clocking, completing more than 300 masks in two weeks.

“This is just my small part and our department’s small part to help our community. It really touches you inside that you know that you’ve just helped someone that you will probably never meet,” he said.

In addition to making masks, Dana and the athletics department recently release a YouTube video detailing how you can make your own.

If you would like to donate fabric, you are encouraged to contact Dana at marqudr@auburn.edu.

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