Actress Ellie Cook calls Camas home, but since taking part in the Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre’s 2019 season, she’s not been able to keep the theater off her mind.
While in quarantine because of the coronavirus, Cook was looking for a way to stay busy and “turn (her) anxieties into productivity,” she wrote on Facebook.
Cook’s solution was to make personal protective face masks. She is selling the masks for $5, including shipping, and donating the money to the Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre.
“In light of recent news from the CDC, they are recommending everyone to wear a face covering while going out in public,” Cook wrote on Facebook. “I turned to the Cook family fabric stash and got to sewing.”
After hearing that Cook was donating the proceeds to the theater, artistic director Stu Cabe said he had to fight back tears.
“Ellie’s gesture so beautifully bridged the gap between the things we need to live … and the things we live for,” he wrote in an email. “In this time of crisis, we as a society have turned to the arts (and artists) more than ever. And, when an artist like Ellie, who is personally struggling financially, chooses to give back in this way, you want to shout her generosity from the rooftops.”
“We are facing unprecedented times as individuals and as arts organizations,” executive director Tracey Vaughan added. “It is uplifting to see one of our own giving back and helping us as well as others! It gives us all a little more hope.”
Since it was published on April 11, Cook’s post has been shared 33 times. She even had to update the post, which also included a link to donate directly to the Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre, with a disclaimer.
“Hey, everyone! Thank you so much for ordering masks. I am simply overwhelmed with gratitude, and let’s just say I’ve got a lot of sewing to do!”
Cook, who appeared in the ensembles of “Beauty and the Beast” and “Oklahoma!” and the role of Dream Laurey in “Oklahoma!,” wrote that she is a one-person operation, handling the sewing and administrative work, and is available to respond to order requests between 6 and 8 p.m.
“Please keep sharing and ordering,” she wrote. “Just because I do not respond to you right away doesn’t mean I’m ignoring you. I’m just working away on the other orders!”
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