WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) A Utah athletic wear manufacturing company is giving back, by making reusable protective masks for the public and giving them away free to all first responders.

Game Gear, base in West Valley City, was faced with the possibility shutting down when the COVID-19 pandemic cancelled sports leagues and events around the country.

Owner Cade Osborn, whose grandfather started the family business in California and brought it to Utah in the 1950s, said they used to primarily do contract apparel for businesses and have been at the West Valley City facility since around 1969. In the late 1990s they started focusing more on just athletic wear. 

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Osborn said they have been through a lot over the years, including some bad partnerships that nearly forced them to close their doors but and when the pandemic hit the sports industry hard about a month ago, they were once again facing the possibility of layoffs and uncertainty.

After realizing they had a massive amount of fabric they had no idea what to do with, Osborn said they came up with the idea to produce the masks, knowing they could make them quickly and inexpensively.

An idea that would both fulfill a need to the community and keep them in business.

Osborn and his business partner, Bo Hikila, who played football for the University of Utah under coach Whittingham, decided to take it a step further and offer their masks free to law enforcement, firefighters, EMT’s and paramedics after hearing about several first responders not being protected.

So far, Osborn said they have been able to donate hundreds of masks to troopers with the Utah Highway Patrol, officers with Unified Police, West Valley City and South Jordan police departments, as well as West Valley City firefighters and law enforcement at the jail in Weber County. 

The masks can be purchased by the public and can either be ordered online at gamegear.com or by coming into their facility located at 7081 West 3500 South between the hours of 8 a.m. and 6 p.m.

A post on their website states all police officers, first responders and firefighters are able to come to their facility and get a mask for free:

To help stop the spread of Corona Virus Game Gear has switched production to protective face wear. We are offering an inexpensive solution to level 1 protection. It isn’t rated as medical grade but we also know that anything is better than nothing.

They are sold in 5-packs for $2.25 each for adult and $2.00 for children. If you come pick them up from the store they are $1.75 for adult and $1.50 for kids. You can add a n95 filter inside the pouch for added protection.

We are also inviting all police officers, first responders and firefighters to come and pick some up for free.

Their site states the masks are reusable and made of 100% Double Knit Polyester Fabric which is “comfortable and breathable, soft and skin-friendly, and easy to use”.

Perfect mask when travelling through congested airports, bus terminals, malls, parks , and busy city streets.These Reusable face masks for men, women and children help protect against dust, pollen, allergens, pollution and the spreading to ensure safe, healthy breathing.

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