Nearly 100 masks 3D-printed by participating S.C. organizations, including CCU, delivered to MUSC
West Courtney, a Conway native and senior student at the Citadel, found out about the need for masks from his business innovation professor James Bezjian, and he has been working tirelessly ever since to connect with organizations that might be able to help in some way.
His connection with CCU board of trustees member Will Turner prompted CCU's involvement, which is now using 10 3D printers inside Kimbel Library to print masks and cartridges that are later assembled at The Citadel and delivered to MUSC.
By Monday afternoon, April 13, Courtney had already dropped off 60 masks that were printed at CCU at The Citadel, and he said 30 masks had just been delivered to MUSC after a Rotary Club from Columbia donated time and money to assemble the masks.
This effort took off after CCU President David A. DeCenzo issued a call for institutions and organizations statewide to contribute their 3D printers to the cause. Since then, the S.C. Commission for Higher Education (CHE) applied for and received funds from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) to support state universities in printing the masks.
"This effort wouldn't have gotten where it is now without what CCU is doing," said Courtney.
Yet it is Courtney who has been instrumental in making the connections that have fueled the project's progress. Courtney remembered his former roommate's father worked for a marketing company and asked if he could reach out to them for help.
Bill Golden, CEO of Golf Tourism Solutions, a full-service marketing and technology company for the golf industry on the Grand Strand, jumped at the opportunity to be involved. He said one of his first suggestions to Courtney was that the initiative needed a website so people would have somewhere to go for more information, and he volunteered his creative team to build the site from scratch.
"It's an incredible initiative and really amazing what they've done," said Golden. "The website was the first element that we decided to do, and it probably took about 24 hours to build that. We are honored to be a part of it."
The website, www.maskimpact.com, went live on Thursday, April 9, and includes the instructions available for free download for those who are able to print the masks using their own 3D printers. It also includes a donation tool for those who would like to contribute to the cause.
"We are excited to be a part of something in this time that can make a difference and be supportive of West and his hard work," said Golden. "Any small way we can help with our talents and resources, what better way to do it! We are happy to be a part of this."
Courtney has continued to work with CCU and others to keep the initiative "rocking and rolling." CCU has expanded its efforts to include putting together face shields for hospitals, and Courtney is continuing to look for organizations who are interested in helping the cause, whether by printing masks, assembling them, or helping spread the word.
"I'm thrilled that Coastal Carolina University had the opportunity to be a leader in this important endeavor," said DeCenzo last week. "This project shows how we can all come together in innovative ways in times of great need to provide a service that directly and immediately impacts those on the front lines."
Those interested in learning more can visit maskimpact.com.