LCC’s Innovate & Make Space Coordinated Mask-Making Efforts for SE Colorado



Materials cut and packaged in the LCC I&MS



(Lamar, CO) – Lamar Community College (LCC) is home to an Innovate & Make Space (I&MS), where volunteers and seamstresses from 6 counties in southeastern Colorado donated countless hours making masks for community members and healthcare workers during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Volunteers from Baca, Kiowa, Bent, Prowers, Crowley and Otero Counties collaborated to sew over 1,000 masks. An additional 3,200 no-sew face coverings were donated from the State of Colorado to be dispersed as well. The collaborative effort supplied masks to The Legacy in Lamar, The Senior Center in Eads and Haswell, schools in Springfield and Eads, The Lamar Estates, the Kiowa County Hospital District, and Prowers Medical Center. 

“Because access to the I&MS was extremely limited, I dusted off the sewing machine my mom had given me long ago and started prototyping cotton face coverings with pockets for fillers,” said Laura Misenheimer, manager of LCC’s I&MS. She began taking orders and giving them to LCC staff and community members. 

Soon after, she contacted Kris Stokke, dba SE Region Generalist, who was supplying materials and commissioning seamstresses to sew polypropylene masks for healthcare providers in Prowers County. Misenheimer partnered with Stokke as a seamstress, and recruited other seamstresses from the pool of I&MS Master Volunteers. Altogether, the seamstresses sewed over 800 masks used by nurses in various facilities across Prowers County. 

Later Lisa Ramfjord Elstun, founder of Fashion Design Center Denver, contacted Misenheimer to spearhead the Colorado Mask Project in SE Colorado. Elstun, who has been working with Misenheimer to launch an Industrial Sewing Technician Program in the I&MS, leads a “Sew Squad” in the Denver area that has been sewing face coverings for their own vulnerable populations. Fabric was sent from Elstun to Misenheimer, cut in the I&MS, and put into kits for sewing. Stokke created protocol to disseminate the mask kits to the emergency managers in the 6 county region who would not only deliver the kits to their own seamstresses, but also hand out completed masks to community members. There was a total of 515 masks that were made available to the seamstresses, and volunteers sewed face coverings for people and healthcare workers in their own counties. 

“Just as we recognize the healthcare workers for the dedication to caring for our communities, I would like to also recognize the tremendous amount of volunteer hours our seamstresses have given all over SE Colorado,” Misenheimer said. “From the big group of sewers in Campo and Springfield, all the I&MS Master Volunteers, the seamstresses in Eads, McClave and LaJunta, one very special lady in Towner who drove all the way in to pick up and drop off her finished masks, and the tens of sewers in Prowers County-thank you for using all of your skills to help others in a tangible way during this pandemic.” 

To learn more about this effort, contact Laura Misenheimer at To learn more about the I&MS, visit


Filed Under: City of LamarCollegeConsumer IssuesFeaturedHealthMedia ReleasePublic Safety


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