Masks to milk

Joel Lloyd, left, store manager at the Hannaford supermarket in Gilford, Laconia High School ninth-grader Ella Tryon, and assistant store manager Troy Cone hold some of the 101 half gallons of milk to be delivered to the Salvation Army on Friday. The milk was purchased with money Ella raised by sewing and selling facemasks, and the store matched her contribution. (Courtesy photo/Trish Tryon)

It all started with scrunchies. 

Laconia High School freshman Ella Tryon had an interest in sewing and decided to start sewing and selling hair scrunchies to save money for a class trip in sixth grade.  Her business took off and soon she was selling them throughout the area, and even had a couple of pop-up shops as well as having them for sale at local hair salons.

Then came the coronavirus pandemic. Ella decided that since she had plenty of fabric she would start making facemasks. Again her business skyrocketed.  She was getting orders from local residents and many people from around the country. The orders were double and tripling.  She was balancing remote learning for school (maintaining her honor roll status) and making masks in her “off” time. 

Then she came up with a plan to give back to her community. She loves milk and decided a way to help would be to donate money to purchase milk for a local social service agency that provides meals.  She contacted Troy Cone, assistant manager at the Hannaford supermarket in Gilford and asked if they might be willing to match her donation. Joel Lloyd, the store manager, quickly agreed, and Ella contacted the Salvation Army to arrange delivery. 

On Friday, May 22, she went to Hannaford’s in Gilford and, with the help of the store, purchased 101 half gallons of milk which she and her mom brought to the Salvation Army and Carey House.  She will continue to make these masks.  If you are interested in purchasing them she can be reached at tryonella@yahoo.com .

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