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Hamilton students work to protect healthcare employees’ ears

A Hamilton graduate and 13 members of the high school’s National Honor Society (NHS) are doing their part to help others by providing more than 400 extenders that will protect the ears of healthcare workers who must wear masks.


Project Protect the Ears was conceived and organized by Hamilton alumnus Ellie Sumiec to make homemade extenders that would relieve pressure of masks that have elastic straps. The extender is a ribbon onto which a button is sewn on each end. With a goal of creating 1,000 extenders, Sumiec enlisted the help of NHS members. She provided supply kits for each student with directions on how to create the extenders and a video on sewing techniques.

Sumiec distributed the extenders to Menomonee Falls and Elmbrook community hospitals and Froedtert’s cardiac unit in the Milwaukee area, and American Family Children’s Hospital and Meriter Hospital in Madison.

Along with the extenders, Hamilton teacher Misty Draeger use her 3-D printer to make 100 masks that Sumiec also distributed.