Natomas-based Project Buys Masks for Hospitals

Group photos of healthcare workers all wearing surgical masks and some holding packages containing donated masks.

The Mask Project delivered 1,000 surgical and 50 N95 respirator masks to Mercy General Hospital. Lucas Perretti, far right.

THE NATOMAS BUZZ | @natomasbuzz

Natomas resident Lucas Perretti has spearheaded a project that has raised enough money to buy 5,000 masks for frontline healthcare workers — and he’s not stopping there.

Image of packages of masks in foreground with VA hospital in background. There is also an airplane by the building.

Five hundred surgical masks were delivered to the VA NorCal facility in Mather, California.

The goal: to buy and deliver a total of 10,000 masks to hospitals that need them all over the country.

“Like many, I am sheltered in place,” Perretti said. “After hearing so many of my nursing and respiratory therapist friends crying out for personal protective equipment and medical masks, I decided I had to do something and quickly launched ‘The Mask Project’.”

Personal protective equipment is protective clothing, helmets, goggles, or other garments or equipment designed to protect the wearer’s body from injury or infection.

A Natomas resident since 2011, Perretti has volunteered with the North Natomas Little League, Inderkum High School PTSA and Inderkum Athletic Boosters Club. He also started a small company which focuses on training and umpire resources called the STAR Program.

A cardboard box full of surgical masks.

The first 1,000 surgical masks purchased and delivered as part of the project.

Perretti, a former umpire-in-chief, knows that the most important part of an umpire’s uniform is their mask.

“They protect us. We would never call balls and strikes behind the plate without one,” said Perretti. “But doctors and nurses were being asked to treat potentially infected patients without PPE. At least, we can come together as a community to help get them masks!”

“From umpires to doctors,” he added. “Masks protect us all.”

Perretti launched the “The Mask Project” on March 24, less than a week after California’s statewide shelter-in-place order went into effect. In the first week, 1,000 masks were delivered to hospitals that needed them.

“I started contacting my suppliers and ordering medical masks to deliver them to hospitals in need,” Perretti said.

Nearly two months later, monetary donations have purchased surgical and N95 masks which have been delivered to nine different hospitals in Sacramento, San Francisco, Michigan and New York.

“Thank you so much for this generous donation and for advocating to protect healthcare workers and for stepping up to help keep me and my colleagues safe as we all work together in these disturbing times,” wrote Meg Byrne to Perretti, in response to the 500 surgical masks donated to UC Davis Medical Center.

Perretti has set up a donation portal for The Mask Project on the STAR Program’s website. For example, a $10 gift will buy 15 surgical masks or three N95 respirator masks. One hundred percent of contributions go toward providing medical masks to hospitals and the website even has an online form to help identify hospitals that need masks.

“Masks are distributed as quickly as possible,” said Perretti.

To learn more about The Mask Project, go to

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