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Area business owners receive 10,000 masks

Colorado Mesa University President Tim Foster and Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Diane Schwenke helped hand out 10,000 face masks to area business owners. The effort included the mayors of Grand Junction, Fruita and Palisade as Grand Valley municipalities helped purchase the community masks as did Mesa County.

“No matter how businesses feel about mask wearing, iColorado, doing so is a requirement. We all felt that helping provide the face coverings to any business that needed them was a good way to show support during a time when economic stress is testing the strength of many local enterprises,” said Schwenke.  

During the launch of the project, elected representatives helped distribute the masks including Town of Palisade Mayor Greg Mikolai.  

As a CMU faculty member and an elected representative of Palisade, I was glad to be a part of this project. These masks play a part in keeping campus open which then helps businesses across the valley, said Mikolai.  

The delivery team was joined by the university mascot, Rowdy, whose presence reminded the community that the spirit of CMU is alive and well as students returned to campus.  

“I am always humbled by the relationships that CMU maintains with our local governments,” said CMU President Tim Foster. “From Fruita in the west to DeBeque in the east — all the towns and municipalities in Mesa County continually find ways to support us. Their leadership makes being a university president even more rewarding.” 

In addition to the face mask distribution program, CMU and Mesa County have collaborated on the entirety of the Grand Valley’s COVID-19 response efforts including baseline testing, saliva testing, wastewater testing, contact tracing and social distancing protocols 

Facemasks were given to businesses in Mesa County who requested them through the Grand Junction Area Chamber.  

As the distribution has gone on, the masks have proven extremely popular,” said Schwenke. “We actually have businesses coming in and picking them up before we can get them out.”  

According to Schwenke, about 90% of the masks have been distributed. Any local businesses who have yet to receive their CMU masks can contact the Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce.  


Written by Staff