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Scarves for a cause: Local creates garb for Special Olympics

Portia Mahoney, owner of Art of Life, 391 Mill St. Photo by Patrick McAbee. (click for larger version)
January 05, 2011 - When hundreds of Special Olympians compete next month they may be just a little warmer thanks to a few local seamstresses.

Portia Mahoney, owner of Art of Life, 391 Mill St., Ortonville, is promoting a project to make hand-knit scarves for the upcoming Special Winter Olympics of Michigan, held in Grand Traverse in Traverse City, Feb. 2-4.

Each scarf must use a combination of two specific colors of yarn by the company Coats and Clark. The colors that are required, teal and red, are the official colors for the Michigan Special Olympics.

"The yarn is quite expensive and not very many craft stores carry it," said Mahoney. "But I was willing to carry it in my store because this is such a good cause."

Clarkston resident Virginia Schultz is northern Oakland County's promoter for the fundraiser.

"I became involved in the project because Virginia Schultz contacted me and the surrounding craft shops, but I was one of the few that was willing to keep the yarn on hand," said Mahoney. "I was more than happy to help promote and distribute the necessary supplies."

With a goal of collecting 2,500 hand-knit scarves by Jan. 15, the contributions have been outstanding, according to Mahoney. "I've had at least 25 people who have dropped them off at my shop for donation. Many others have bought the yarn from me," she said.

The cause first started in July 2010, when the first advertisement went into The Citizen. Considering this event is open to anyone throughout the nation, many scarves are expected to make their way to the campus of Central Michigan University to be donated to the Special Olympics.

Help is still needed. Contact Mahoney at 248-627-4901.

Staff Writer Senior at Goodrich High, part of the marching band color guard, and excited to be a part of the Citizen Newspaper.
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