I mentioned a week or so ago that I am part of the #Social46 group. We were selected by the Super Bowl Host Committee as individuals with a large influence in social media. We are tasked with promoting everything from events and parties to weather and parking alerts. The Host Committee wants this Super Bowl to be the most connected Super Bowl ever and they have done an awesome job of it so far. The Social 46 group is just one avenue.
I have written a couple of guest posts for do317.com on the parties coming to town. But what I want to focus on here are the things you may not know about. For example, did you know that Indianapolis has worked with all the wireless carriers to increase bandwidth in downtown Indianapolis? With all the visitors and guests, they wanted to make sure that people’s phones would still work and the best part? Indy gets to keep that after all the hoopla has died down. But that’s not the only example. The things that this city has done in preparation for the big game not only have a positive impact on the community now, but will leave a legacy for us for years to come. Read on my friends.
Did you know that Indianapolis hosts the only repository in the world for normal breast tissue? The Komen Tissue Bank has been collecting samples since 2005 and actually is the first to collect both healthy and diseased tissue from the same woman. This past weekend, the Super Cure donation event brought in more than 700 women to donate breast tissue. All the spots were “sold out” within 90 minutes. As Allison Melangton, President of the Super Bowl Host Committee told the Social 46 a couple of weeks ago, a cure for breast cancer will be found in this city (I get chills every time I think about that sentence). And the Super Cure push not only made more aware of what this incredible center is doing, but also drove more donations than ever. If you are interested in donating breast tissue, there is another donor event here in Indy on March 10th.
Landing a Super Bowl here in Indy took a new stadium, expanded convention center and a new airport, amongst other things. But one thing that really impacted the decision to grant Indy the spot was when IPS Superintendent Eugene White told the panel about the Near Eastside Legacy Project. Reaching over 40,000 residents and children, the proposal was packed with a punch and helped clinch the bid. And work began immediately. The Host Committee produced enough money to pay three full time staff members to oversee the Legacy Project and committees were formed. Over $9M in federal grants were secured, Lilly gave $5.5M and United Way pitched in for $1M. Over $150M invested in housing revitalization including new, affordable housing for seniors and low income residents, the rehabbing for over 30 abandoned homes and even a health center, a community center and a grocer. And in October, over 2012 trees were planted in the neighborhood. And the pride and joy of the Legacy Project is the Chase Legacy Center. Funded privately for about $11M, this facility will allow residents and children to participate in various programs including Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Indy Children’s Choir, the Y and the Indy Symphony. In addition, it will serve as a fitness center. But the structures, the housing, the trees are just part of what the Super Bowl did for this area of Indianapolis. It changed the perception of the Near Eastside and has caught the attention of new donors, new partnerships that before never existed for this struggling community. For more info on The Legacy Project, check here.
SUPER BASKETS OF HOPE:
This coming weekend, 7,000 hospitalized children will receive gift baskets. These kids, all located in one of the 32 NFL cities will receive gifts that offer fun, entertainment, inspiration and hope. Collaborating with the Host Committee, Riley Children’s Hospital and Tony Dungy, the Basket of Hope project brought together volunteers, NFL players and NFL coaches to reach out to these sick kids. The baskets were assembled here in Indy and shipped to the teams, who distributed and delivered them. Pretty awesome. Pretty. Freaking. Awesome.
When Allison took the job as CEO of the Host Committee, she was barraged with calls. People wanted to help and volunteer and be a part of this awesome event. On a whim, one day, she suggested that people could knit scarves for the volunteers to wear during what surely would be a cold Super Bowl week. What started as a little project to involve people across the country, turned into a behemoth! Over 13,0000 scarves have been sent to Indianapolis, each one with an accompanying note from the person who created it. Mine is from a woman in Zionsville. One note talked about how knitting the scarf gave her something to do while she sat in the hospital alongside her sick husband. And isn’t it pretty cool to see people walking downtown wearing their Colts-colored, unique, handmade scarves? Awesome idea, Allison.