Café owner and mask maker raises $1,650 for community

Carol and Margaret with DMR Cafe Owner, Diane Schwarzl and Jane Bowtell

After making and selling masks during the pandemic, a Woy Woy café owner has donated all profits to local organisations, with a focus on helping community members on the Peninsula.

Diane Schwarzl, owner of DMR Café in Deepwater Plaza, began crafting and selling masks during Covid-19 restrictions to help protect her staff and customers.

“I have a lot of elderly customers who only had paper masks and couldn’t afford the fabric masks,” Schwarzl said.

“So I thought it would be nice to make some and sell them cheap.

“I sold the masks at two for $10, so my customers could wash one and wear the other.”

Schwarzl said her friend and Umina Surf Life Saving Club member, Wendy Cook, had decided to help out and assisted her with the mask making.

“Obviously, there was a lot of sewing involved, and it was just the two of us, but it was fantastic,” Schwarzl said.

“We had a lot of people give us fabrics and elastics to help out, which was lovely.

“We ended up making $1,650, which was quite a shock.”

They decided to split the profit and donate to a different community organisation each, with half going to Umina Surf Life Saving Club, and the other to Woy Woy CWA.

“I decided to choose Woy Woy CWA because the ladies do such a good job on the Peninsula,” Schwarzl said.

“I know they help kids and do a lot of community work.

“I wanted to give back, the people who bought the masks are from the Peninsula, so I thought it was only fitting to put the money back into the community.”

Woy Woy CWA President Jane Bowtell said she was honoured to receive the donation which had come as a surprise.

“Our community is amazing,” she said.

“The money will stay on the Peninsula where it will be used for the benefit of primary school children doing it tough.

“Many thanks go to all of her (Diane’s) loyal customers that purchased the masks to help make a difference in a local child’s life.”

The money donated will be used to make book packs for local primary schools and disadvantaged children within the community.

Schwarzl said her next venture was to join the Woy Woy CWA, where she hoped to volunteer and help make a difference on the Peninsula.

Hayley McMahon