Friday, April 3, 2009

Stitch community together

Recycle Special Olympics scarves for senior citizen blankets

Express Staff Writer

From left, Lory Rainey, Barbara Brandt and Debbie Hemly are collecting Special Olympics scarves to make blankets for seniors.

The beauty of seeing blue-and-white scarves on almost every neck in Ketchum during the 2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Sun Valley created a feeling of community and bonding. When Zumba instructor Lory Rainy was observing several scarf wearers at Tulley's Coffee Shop during the games, it dawned on her that no one would wear the scarves once the event was over.

"They were beautiful," Rainey said. "But they will be put away in closets and drawers although some people will hold on to them for sentimental reasons."

Rainey was struck by an idea to recycle the scarves.

"If we can get everyone to donate scarves to make into blankets for seniors, we can give seniors an opportunity to appreciate the Special Olympics in a way that will literally warm them," Rainey said.

Rainey told Barbara Brandt her idea about the scarves, and Brandt ran with the idea and set up a drop-off at Pet Grooming by Debbie, across from Grumpy's, in Ketchum. In addition, white yarn has been donated to stitch the scarves together to make afghans.

"It is paying it forward," Rainey said.

She said Brandt has arranged for people to sew the scarves together.

"We have 200 scarves, but we need as many as we can get," she said. "It would be nice to give blankets to seniors at Blaine Manor and the Senior Connection."

Scarves can be dropped off at Pet Grooming by Debbie on Warm Springs Road from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

"I have been in the valley for 35 years and sometimes you need to pipe up with ideas," Rainey said. "Through this economic downturn we will come out a wiser nation,"

Sabina Dana Plasse:

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