Hats and Mittens, a local organization that collects winter wear for children in need, harnessed Super Bowl visitors Saturday for a bustling family-friendly downtown event with Thrivent Financial.
Rebecca Jorgenson Sundquist, the group's founder, said she was thrilled with the high turnout. The goal was to collect 52,000 pairs of hats and mittens — in accordance with Super Bowl LII — and she expected to exceed it.
"I just assumed most of the activity would all center around the game, and people coming to the game, and hotels and restaurants," Jorgenson Sundquist said. "But I had no idea it would impact the community like this."
The event included live music, story readings and a feeding pen with llamas and sheep. Doria Martinez was at a table with her grandmother, Belinda, making scarves to be donated. Using the Super Bowl as a chance to give to local people in need, Martinez said, was a "really good idea."