Willie Nelson Signs Face Masks He Was Given to Raise Money for More Protective Equipment
As people all over the world continue to fight the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), Willie Nelson is doing his part to pay it forward. The legendary country singer came up with a unique way to get more free face masks out to the public after receiving a hand-sewn mask of his own from fellow Texas resident Tanya Boike.
Boike, a friend of Nelson's granddaughter, Noelle Ward, has been making cloth masks and giving them out to people around her community to help slow the spread of COVID-19. With the help of a friend and nurse named Monica Cabazos, Boike has been able to distribute 500 masks.
Now, thanks to Nelson, that number will likely go up: Rather than keeping the protective gear he and his wife, Annie D'Angelo, received from Boike, Nelson signed his name on the masks. He hopes to now have those masks auctioned off so the money can go toward producing and distributing more free personal protective equipment (PPE).
"[Noelle] texted me a few minutes later and said, ‘Pops would rather sign these and have them auction them off. That way, you can get more materials and keep making these masks for free,’" Boike emotionally told CBS affiliate KTRK of Nelson’s charitable efforts. "I just lost it. That’s not what I had made them for.”
As for Nelson’s act of kindness, “Well, that’s him. That’s who he is. That’s him every day,” Ward tells the station of her famous grandfather.
“He’s just relaxed. He’s just giving. He’s just got a great smile, and he’s just the best,” she adds.
Boike has honored Nelson’s proposal to put the signed masks up for auction. She currently has them listed on the FrontLine-Angels auction website, where they’ll remain for four days. The starting bid for each mask is $200, and fans have so far bid more than $2,000 for each mask.
Nelson, who will turn 87 years old on Wednesday (April 29), has been keeping busy amid the coronavirus pandemic. On Aug. 20, he appeared as the musical guest on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, hours after hosting a 4/20 celebratory variety show called Come and Toke It. He’s expected to drop a new album, First Rose of Spring, on July 3.
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