Firemen, police join 90th birthday parade for Maryland man who sewed 300 masks

Maryland’s Montgomery County Police Department and local fire engines helped celebrate the 90th birthday of a man who sewed hundreds of masks for health care workers with a drive-thru parade on July 25.

Back in April, Dan Willkens made local headlines for sewing masks for hospital workers at Suburban Hospital during a shortage of personal protective equipment. With more time on his hands amid the COVID-19 pandemic, he decided to help shield health care workers and learned how to sew.

The MCPD said that as of July, Willkens had sewn “approximately 300” masks for Suburban Hospital.

“Unable to have a birthday party due to the ongoing pandemic, Mr. Willkens’ family organized a birthday parade and MCP was happy to be invited,” the police department posted on Facebook. “Mr Willkens is a Montgomery County resident and recently sewed approximately 300 masks for Suburban Hospital.”

The video shows several police cars and fire department trucks coming down the street with their lights and sirens on. As they approach the Willkens’ home, they are greeted by his family, who are wearing matching shirts and cheering.

Willkens can be seen in the center, with a bright smile and both of his hands waving at the parade.