Franklin County residents send scarves to Boston
HAMPTON (AP) — The handmade blue and yellow scarves that filled a cardboard box at The Cornerstone Cottage in Hampton were on a special mission.
The scarves, more than 20 in all, are being sent to runners of the 2014 Boston Marathon bearing the love, prayers and good wishes of residents of Franklin County.
"It's something you can do for them just so they know they're in our thoughts," said Dyanne Pralle of Hampton, one of the knitters and crocheters who made scarves to send to Boston.
"Everyone has strong emotions," Pralle told the Globe Gazette. "We can't all be there in person."
The marathon will be run Monday, April 21, this year.
The Marathon Scarf Project originated with the Rev. Nancy Taylor of the Old South Church in Boston, who came up with the idea as a way to show solidarity for peace from around the world.
The scarves demonstrate to the runners symbolically that the senders are wrapping each runner in their hearts, said Coulter artist Pamela Warwick, who organized the Franklin County response.
Knitters and crocheters were asked to make scarves from any textile medium. The scarves must be blue and yellow, the signature colors of the Boston Marathon, and measure 4 to 6 inches wide and 60 inches long.
Warwick read about the Marathon Scarf Project on Facebook less than a month ago and decided to organize an effort in Franklin and Hardin counties.
"Last year's bombing at the Boston Marathon was gut-wrenching," said Warwick, whose daughter Heidi has lived in Boston since 2007 and always celebrates the Marathon.
Her daughter's best friend, a nurse, witnessed the gruesome aftermath of the bombings and helped care for the wounded at one of the hospitals, Warwick said.
When she learned about the Marathon Scarf Project, "I was instantly grateful for an opportunity to provide some form of tangible support to accompany my prayers," Warwick said. "I'm far away, but I can be part of the healing process."
With the help of Hope Polk at the Hampton Chamber of Commerce and others, Warwick put out the word.
The Cornerstone Cottage and The Freckled Dandelion in Hampton and Skinny Girl Yarn Shop in Iowa Falls were enlisted as drop-off points.
Knitters from the United Methodist Church in Hampton were among the donors, said Judy Wrolson, owner of The Cornerstone Cottage.
"People really have stepped up," she said.
Others have given money to help with shipping costs.
"As a business owner, I'm always getting asked to give," Wrolson said. "I am a crocheter. I am always crocheting. This is something I can do."
The scarves, which are coming in from all over the world, are to arrive in Boston by Saturday, April 5, to prepare for the April 20 Easter service. Organizers are hoping to receive 35,000 scarves from around the world.
Before the scarves were sealed up to be shipped to the Old South Church, the Rev. Steve Winsor of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Hampton gave a prayer over them.
"As we bless these scarves made by many hands, may people know these are representatives of your work," he prayed to God. "These scarves are symbols of love and (assurance) that you are with us in the midst of tragedy."
Further information about the Marathon Scarf Project is available online at www.oldsouthchurch.com.