By Charly Frisk
This past Sunday, Feb. 4, the Super Bowl closed as the finale for host city Minneapolis’ Bold North week. Among the 10,000 volunteers who werescattered around the city were two Bennies, juniors Abby Spanier and Maggie Young, who had the chance to partake in a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Spanier and Young were two of many Bennies and Johnnies who participated in the event.
In September, after hearing about the opportunity through the CSB/SJU communication department, Young invited her roommate to volunteer with her at the ten-day festival prior to SuperBowl LII. The next day after they both signed up, they headed down to the cities for their interview. The following week, the host committee accepted Spanier and Young into Crew 52, a large team led by Club Kindness and composed of warm-hearted individuals residing in the cold, bold north.
“I know it seems obnoxious to have 10,000 people strictly for the purpose of entertainment, but I think it was important because the visitors noticed that,” Young said. “We would have people thank us even when they just walked by, without question.”
The 10,000 volunteers stationed with big smiles and snowmobiles zipped past city streets. Carefully designed ice sculptures were not, by any means, part of a modest, casual welcome to the state of Minnesota. The message was clear: We are bold.
“The atmosphere was pretty electric,” Spanier said.
“Everywhere you looked there was something different and exciting. You could hear music bumping from the concert stage even if you weren’t in the vicinity which I thought brought some energy to the whole place. Overall, theatmosphere was very positive.”
The vivacious energy that consumed Minneapolis during the exciting Super Bowl LII week reflected the confidence that pulses through Minnesota.
“To me, ‘Bold North’ means that we are acknowledging that our state is freezing cold, but twisting that into a positive message,” Spanier said. “I think it shows that we are tough, resilient, and just people who make the best out of things. I totally saw this when I was working down there, people weren’t complaining even though it was freezing cold. They were bundling up, grabbing a hot chocolate, and gathering close around other people to make the most of the awesome opportunity.”
Just as the freezing temperatures melted in the warmth of hot chocolate, so did Young’s original intentions of volunteering. While working Crew 52 initially meant having a talking point in an interview, the experience of working with Minnesotans to cheerfully welcome in visitors from all over the globe for a week of fun festivities turned into so much more.
“This kind of inspired me to take a different route. Working within a community like that is just so rewarding. I hope to maybe have a career someday that involves events such as that and I can learn from that experience,” Young said.
The Bold North could not have done it without the help of volunteers, including our Bennies.
“I learned that it takes many moving parts in order to make something big move, meaning that you cannot put on an event of this caliber without thousands of helping hands all working together and doing their jobs.” Spainer said.
FEATURE PHOTO COURTESY OF ABBY SPANIER