As the Academy prepares to welcome students back to campus this fall, the list of tasks to address and questions to answer is seemingly endless. One such topic is personal protective equipment. For many of us, “PPE” wasn’t part of our vernacular just a few short months ago, but it’s now a daily reality as we move forward with the COVID-19 global pandemic. As Bridgton works to most safely welcome our newest class, PPE is an important topic and area of focus.
As such, the Academy was thrilled when the family of local Maine alumnus Nick Giles ‘19 approached Bridgton with a very timely gift. Steve Giles, Nick’s father, had recently started Rezilyent Gear to produce masks to help with the pandemic. His initial goal was to create masks that were comfortable to wear and made with sustainable materials (organic cotton and hemp). Steve, who owns Fiberkraft, together with Chris Mendoza started Rezilyent Gear with one industrial sewing machine, and is now running seven machines with six employees dedicated to mask production. The Giles family donated several hundred masks to the Academy to help with our reopening in the fall, providing additional PPE for both staff and incoming students. The masks, branded with the trademark Bridgton paw, will be a great addition, and we could not be more thankful for this thoughtful gift.