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Stormy Kromer Donates Portion Of Special Mask Sales To Charitable Groups

Stormy Kromer

The Stormy Kromer company in Ironwood went about two months without making its iconic hats. Instead, it was making cloth masks during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Now, it’s donating some of its sales back to charitable organizations.

Not long after the virus outbreak, the company stopped making hats and other items.

“We had the skills and some of the materials, so, in less than a week, we went from an idea to production actually happening of masks. We, maybe a week or so later, got into making gowns as well,” said President Gina Thorsen.

In early May, it started offering Stormy Kromer-styled masks to the public for purchase.

“It has wildly exceeded our expectations,” Thorsen said. “The response was really overwhelming, the amount of orders that we got, especially the first week that they went live. They were from all over the country.”

The company is donating 10 percent of its sales to two organizations.

The first is the Gogebic Range Health Foundation, which serves the Western Upper Peninsula and Iron County, Wisconsin.

Credit Stormy Kromer
Sister Carol Weber, Director at St. Luke N.E.W. Life Center accepts a donation from Kevin Begola, Stormy Kromer dealer from the Bridge Street Exchange in Fenton.

“We, first of all, wanted to give back in our local, direct community because of all the support that we get from the folks that live here, and from the local businesses, and just the region, and the support they give to us,” Thorsen said.

Stormy Kromer is also donating to a longtime partner, the St. Luke N.E.W. Life Center in Flint, Michigan.

Each received checks for more than $9,000.

Thorsen estimates the company has now made more than 50,000 masks.

Ben worked as the Special Topics Correspondent at WXPR from September 2019 until November 2021. He now contributes occasionally to WXPR. During his full-time employment, his main focus was reporting on environment and natural resources issues in northern Wisconsin and Michigan's Upper Peninsula as part of The Stream, a weekly series.