Stad Band member raising cancer funds with handmade masks

An assortment of fabric face masks sewed by PO2 Courtney Lambert.
By Ryan Melanson,
Trident Staff

Inspired by her mother’s battle against cancer, a member of the Stadacona Band has begun raising funds for the fight against the disease, while also helping others battle the COVID-19 pandemic.

PO2 Courtney Lambert has been sewing face masks at home with scrap fabric and other materials. Canadians have been advised that wearing these types of non-medical masks can be effective in reducing the spread of respiratory droplets, leading to a lower chance of spreading viruses. PO2 Lambert also hopes that the increasing availability of fabric masks will help preserve the supply of medical-grade equipment for health-care workers and immunocompromised people like her mother, who’s required to be at the hospital every second week for chemotherapy treatments.

“I’ve done a lot of sewing and quilting projects before, and it was actually my mother who taught me to sew and who sent me the pattern to start making these masks,” PO2 Lambert said.

She put a call out to see if anyone was interested, got a big response, and the project took off from there. The masks are available to anyone who wants one, and while she has been suggesting donations toward her team in this fall’s Ride for Cancer in Halifax, she said it’s not a requirement.

Masks have so far gone to friends and colleagues, and she also dropped some off at Halifax Meals on Wheels, where she volunteers in her spare time.

PO2 Lambert’s project was inspired by her mother, Gay Lambert, who is currently undergoing chemotherapy treatment. Her hope is that access to homemade masks will help save clinical equipment for health-care workers and people with compromised immune systems.

“People who are in need of help still require meals during this climate, but understandably, people are worried. I wanted to make sure that these volunteers, the people who work there and the people receiving the meals feel safe and comfortable to continue volunteering and accepting meals,” PO2 Lambert said.

She’s made enough to begin running out of things like elastics for ear loops, but said she’s had a number of people reach out and offer her more supplies, which has been heartwarming.

The goal is to help people stay safe while raising a bit of money for advancing cancer care and research. PO2 Lambert is part of the We are Family team for the Ride for Cancer, which is riding on behalf of all cancer patients and their families in Atlantic Canada, and her personal fundraising page can be found at

As for her role with the Stad Band, where she plays the tuba, PO2 Lambert said current projects are focused on Battle of the Atlantic commemorations. With in-person ceremonies cancelled, the band has been working with Navy leadership to provide musical support for the virtual commemorations that are now planned.

“We’re still here, working away at some projects and doing our practicing from home.”