Super Scarves Keep Super Bowl Volunteers, and Others, Warm
More than 13,000 scarves knitted by volunteers from across the country
Super Scarves hanging from the Artsgarden before they were given to Super Bowl volunteers (photo courtesy of Super Bowl Host Committee)
When you think of the Super Bowl, knitting may not be the first thing that comes to mind. Thousands of knitters think otherwise, and their work has produced Super Scarves for all of the city's Super Bowl volunteers and then some.
The idea for Super Scarves belongs to Allison Melangton, president and CEO of the Indianapolis Super Bowl Host Committee, but it had been done before at another sports event. "Really, Allison's idea came from the Special Olympics," says Super Scarves co-chair Katie Meister Vicars. "We kind of stole the idea from the Winter Special Olympics."
Vicars says having people make and donate scarves was a way for people to volunteer for the Super Bowl without having to come downtown. "A lot of our volunteers have been elderly folks who wanted to do something, but didn't have anything necessarily to do."
While knitting a scarf may not evoke an image of brawny football players, it does fit with the image of the city's climate this time of year, so Vicars says she thought they'd be perfect for the thousands of volunteers. "To get to your volunteer position, you may have to walk a few blocks, or your volunteer position may actually be outside. So, we want them to stay warm."
The Super Scarves committee set what Vicars thought was an ambitious goal of 8,000 scarves. They passed that number easily. "We were at about 10,000 in late November, and said let's keep going because we want to not only have our volunteers wear scarves, but we want to have taxi drivers, hotel workers, people who are going to be front line with all the visitors to Indianapolis." The number of scarves hit 13,000 two weeks ago, meaning there would be enough even to give one to each player from the Patriots and Giants. Vicars says any additional scarves they receive will be donated to the poor.
How many knitters helped Super Scarves out? Vicars says there's no way of knowing. "It could be anywhere from 3,000 to 5,000. Some people knitted 250, some knitted 15, and some me it took a year-and-a-half to knit one, but that one is very special.
Unless you are volunteering for the Super Bowl, good luck getting one of the Super Scarves if you want one. "They are not for sale. These are for volunteers, and if volunteers decide to share theirs and give theirs to a visitor or give theirs away afterward, that's great. It just continues to live on."