American Craft Week begins Friday, Oct. 1, the day that also ushers in Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Tamarack is knitting the two events together — literally.
The “world’s longest pink ribbon scarf” is being assembled at Tamarack, while also giving volunteers an opportunity to participate with on-site knitting and crocheting to add to the pink ribbon scarf.
It is currently displayed, hanging throughout the concourse of Tamarack.
You won’t have a hard time finding it.
“Jenifer Fox, our display manager, began hanging it last Monday,” said Cindy Whitlock, Tamarack marketing director. “It took her a week and it wraps around the inside twice.”
The official opening of the display will be Friday. The front entrance of Tamarack will be adorned with a pink ribbon, and a ribbon cutting ceremony will take place there at 9 a.m.
“We expect about 39,000 guests from 25 different states and Canada during October,” Whitlock said. “We’re working on national media coverage and authentication by Guinness. However, the scarf stands on its own merit, a record-sized depiction of love, inspiration and hope for all our sisters.”
Since the installation of the scarf, many visitors have inquired about it.
“The first day, we handed out about 100 flyers,” said Whitlock. “It instantly piqued people’s interest.”
A pink ribbon has become the symbol of breast cancer awareness worldwide.
According to the website for Pink Ribbon International, founder Walter Scheffrahn says, “The brightness of pink at the same time stands for hope and strength of each individual to fight its personal fight. It stands for the community making this personal fight a community responsibility. It stands for all the efforts of people; fund raisers, medical staff, researchers, students, and volunteers worldwide, working together to find the cure. It stands for the industry proving its mature responsibility towards manufacturing processes, ingredients and products. It stands for equal fundamental rights for all breast cancer survivors whether born in richness or in poverty anywhere on mother earth.”
At Tamarack during October, volunteers may add to the scarf by working on it while they visit or by taking home instructions and sending in pieces as they finish.
“Whether you can spend an hour or a day with us, you are welcome,” Whitlock said. “If you know how to knit or crochet, and would like to spend some time teaching those crafts to our guests, please let us know.”
The scarf was started in February 2010 locally as part of Terri’s Tribute, and currently measures 1,894 feet.
Goals for the length of the scarf is 2,000 feet by Oct. 10, reaching beyond 2,000 feet by the end of the month.
“We have pink acrylic yarn, knitting needles and crochet hooks, but people are welcome to bring their own, or donate to our collection,” Whitlock said. “Many people may want to start their work here and take it with them.”
Instructions are: Knit on No. 13 needles, casting on 25 stitches and knit as long as the skein allows. To crochet, use a Size G hook, 25 loops, then single crochet one row and double crochet the rest.
Pieces may be dropped off at Tamarack daily from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. and will be added onto the existing scarf. Breast cancer awareness information is available.
To volunteer to help at Tamarack, call Amy Ellis at 304-256-6843 or e-mail email@example.com.
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Terri’s Tribute was organized in January by a group of family members and friends of the late Terri Lynne Treadway Massey, who lost a courageous four-year battle with breast cancer. Her friends and family helped her find peace, however, by making a promise.
That pledge — to take care of her three children — inspired a scholarship fund to ensure that her children, and other children who’ve lost a parent to breast cancer, will go to college.
With help from Denise Light at Fayette County National Bank and the permission of Terri’s family, the T-Team opened a savings account, which they envision will grow into a charitable trust for children of breast cancer victims.
Donations may be made at any Fayette County National Bank branch to Terri’s Tribute Fund. Donors should mark their checks “Terri” or “General” or “Both.” Money earmarked for Terri’s children will be set aside from the general fund. If a check is marked ‘both,’ it will be divided between the two line items. Oak Hill High School or Fayetteville High School students who have lost a parent to breast cancer will be the eligible recipients for the ‘general’ portion of Terri’s Tribute. Eventually, a charitable trust will be set up with more detailed criteria in hopes continual donations will grow to reach more and more students.
“Unfortunately, Terri is not the only mom, sister, neighbor, friend, wife or daughter this community of ours has lost to breast cancer,” said Light, a breast cancer survivor. “So we encourage anyone who’s been touched by breast cancer to contribute to this fund, which will help the children who’ve lost so much.”
For details about donations, call or stop by FCNB locations in Fayetteville, Oak Hill or Ansted. Donations may be mailed to Terri’s Tribute, FCNB, P.O. Box 209, Fayetteville, WV, 25901.
(Steve Keenan of The Fayette Tribune also contributed to this story.)