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Super Bowl scarf

About 80 knitted scarves from Wisconsin women will be keeping volunteers warm at today's Super Bowl. (Contributed photo)

The handiwork of several local women will be keeping volunteers warm at today's Super Bowl.

The knitted white and blue scarves are part of an initiative started by the Indianapolis Super Bowl Host Committee as a way to thank the 8,000 people for donating time. The group wanted one scarf for every volunteer, but more than 13,000 have been sent in, according its website.

Kits were handed out to knitters across the U.S. It came with blue and white yarn - the team colors of the Indianapolis Colts - an instruction sheet and a card to write a personal message to the volunteer.

La Crosse's Jeannie Bush got roped in to the project when her niece, the assistant director of activities for the Indianapolis Sports Corporation, asked for some crafty hands.

"I love doing anything community related," Bush said. "Volunteering has always been a huge part of my family."

But Bush isn't much of a knitter. Her first time, it took more than a year to finish one scarf. So she recruited a few friends, who in turn got their friends. Soon, Bush had 80 scarves made from all over Wisconsin.

Longtime friend Liz Hellwig of Coon Valley couldn't pass up the chance to get involved - even though she hadn't knitted in five decades.

"I didn't do anything fancy," she said.

She crafted one scarf over the span of a month, though she says it's not perfect.

"I hope they don't go through and pick. Mine would be chosen last," she joked.

Dorothy Lenard of La Crosse said the project unites everyone, even with opposing teams.

"Something like this is fun," she said. "It's just a good thing."

And even though she's made thousands of scarves over the years, having one at the Super Bowl is pretty special, she said.

Hellwig agreed.

"My scarf is going to be on national TV," she said. "I just don't know where it will be exactly."

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