Special Olympics Joins with Red Heart Yarns to Inspire Handmade Unity

November 11, 2010

For Immediate Release

2011 Special Olympics USA Scarf Project hoping to garner estimated 30,000 scarves for Special Olympics Programs in more than 30 states around the country

WASHINGTON D.C. – Special Olympics International and Coats & Clark, owner of Red Heart® Yarns announced the launch of the 2011 Special Olympics USA Scarf Project. This nation-wide initiative gives knitters and crocheters the opportunity to contribute to the Special Olympics Program(s) of their choice, and to know that in doing so, they are contributing to an unprecedented sense of unity and support for the Special Olympics athletes and the Special Olympics Movement as a whole. 

“This is a tremendous opportunity for our athletes to proudly wear an outward sign of support from people who believe in the Special Olympics Movement, and to demonstrate that they are all interconnected in one family of encouragement, inclusion and acceptance,” said Bob Gobrecht, Managing Director Special Olympics North America. “Through our partnership with Coats & Clark, we hope to build on the Scarf Project that was first introduced as part of the 2009 World Winter Games in Boise, ID and bring this sense of community to our athletes throughout the United States.  

“Red Heart is proud to be sponsoring the 2011 Special Olympics USA Scarf  Project and are excited about the inspiration it will give knitters and crocheters.” said Alyson Bell, Vice President of Marketing at Coats & Clark. “The Scarf Project is an opportunity to create a handmade gift for the athletes, coaches, families, volunteers and supporters who can wear with pride knowing that it is crafted with love.” 

Participating knitters and crocheters are asked to follow specific size and yarn color guidelines, but creativity in pattern and design are encouraged. Scarves should be 54-60 inches long, 6 inches wide, and be knit or crocheted using Red Heart ® Yarns Super Saver 886-Blue and Red Heart ® Yarns Super Saver 512-Turqua.  Individual Program deadlines and additional instructions can be found at www.scarvesforspecialolympics.org.  The website contains everything from project guidelines and specific state deadlines to frequently asked questions and other ways to contribute to Special Olympics. 

The Scarf Project began as an opportunity to provide a gift of welcome to the athletes of the 2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games held in Boise, Idaho.  The Games Organizing Committee for the 2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games requested donations of scarves for each of the 2,100 participating athletes, and by Games time, nearly 60,000 homemade scarves were produced from every state in the U.S. and 12 countries around the world. 

Special Olympics Idaho carried on the tradition of the Scarf Project in 2010, and again, the knitting and crocheting communities turned out. Within five weeks of the request, supporters from 48 states had sent over 2,100 homemade scarves for the Special Olympics Idaho State Winter Games.

Follow the 2011 Special Olympics USA Scarf Project on the website (www.scarvesforspecialolympics.org), Facebook (@ScarvesForSpecialOlympics) and Twitter (USAScarfProject).

About Special Olympics
Special Olympics is an international organization that changes lives by encouraging and empowering people with intellectual disabilities, promoting acceptance for all, and fostering communities of understanding and respect worldwide. Founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the Special Olympics movement has grown from a few hundred athletes to more than 3.5 million athletes in over 170 countries in all regions of the world, providing year-round sports training, athletic competition and other related programs.  Special Olympics now takes place everyday, changing the lives of people with intellectual disabilities in places like China and from regions like the Middle East to the community playgrounds and ball fields in every small neighborhood’s backyard.  Special Olympics provides people with intellectual disabilities continuing opportunities to realize their potential, develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage and experience joy and friendship. Visit Special Olympics at www.specialolympics.org.

About Red Heart Yarns/Coats & Clark
Coats & Clark is one of the most recognized names in yarn, sewing and needlecraft products in America.  First marketed in 1936, the Red Heart® brand today continues to exude its founding principles; quality, value and inspiration for the knitting and crochet enthusiast.

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MEDIA CONTACT: 
Heather Hill, 2011Special Olympics USA Scarf Project
E-mail:  heather@h2brandworks.com
Phone: 208.860.5353     

Mandy Murphy, Special Olympics
E-mail: mamurphy@specialolympics.org
Phone: 202.824.0227     

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