Karen Kasper isn’t much of a football fan. Yet here she was on a recent afternoon, standing for several hours in the Minneapolis skyway, all to help people in town for the Super Bowl on February 4.
Kasper, a senior financial analyst at RBC Wealth Management, is one of several RBC employees that signed up to join Crew 52, a team of 10,000 volunteers helping to make Super Bowl-related events in Minneapolis a success.
Kasper’s 21 years of experience working in downtown Minneapolis made her a perfect candidate to help out-of-town visitors navigate the area. Her volunteer shifts have been in the skyway, where she’s provided directions to events, restaurants, bathrooms and more.
“This was a way that I could participate in the event without going to the game,” Kasper says. “I think Minnesota is a great place to live, and I wanted to help show that to all the visitors.”
That was a sentiment echoed by other RBC volunteers, all of whom spent hours of their free time in recent days representing Minnesota to visitors from around the state, the country, and even the world.
Karen Kasper volunteered in the Minneapolis skyway providing information and directions to visitors in town for the Super Bowl.
More than 30,000 people from more than 500 different Minnesota cities applied to join Crew 52, according to the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee. Out of that number, 15,000 applicants received interviews, which whittled the pool down to 10,000, all of whom received a branded uniform of a jacket, scarf, hat and mittens.
The volunteers participated in an orientation session in November, after which they were able to indicate their volunteer preferences and sign up for several four- or five-hour shifts.
Like Kasper, Sara Rasmussen opted for volunteering in the comfort of the Minneapolis skyway, where she helped provide directions to people confused by the sometimes inscrutable maze of elevated walkways. During her first shift, she helped people visiting from as far away as Wales, says Rasmussen, an Information Security administrator at RBC Wealth Management.
“You get to meet a lot of new people during your shift, and everyone is really friendly,” she adds.
Aside from wanting to help represent Minnesota and Minneapolis, Rasmussen had another, more unique reason why she was interested in joining Crew 52: In 1992 – the last time the Super Bowl was held in Minneapolis – she was part of a national dance team that performed during the Super Bowl pre-game show.
“This was a great opportunity to get involved again,” Rasmussen says.
Sara Rasmussen was part of a national dance team that performed prior to the 1992 Super Bowl, the last time the event was held in Minneapolis.
Not everyone was able to stay indoors for their volunteer shifts, though. Michael Roy, an RBC Wealth Management product analyst, was assigned to an outdoor volunteer post, with temperatures falling into the teens and single digits at night. Roy’s first shift involved prepping people participating in a special zipline across the Mississippi River. Most people he helped were from Minnesota, Roy says, but one family was in town from Tennessee for the week.
“It was great to see how excited everybody was,” he says.
Though he’s originally from Iowa, Roy saw Crew 52 as a unique opportunity to share Minnesota with the tens of thousands of visitors who were expected to arrive for the Super Bowl festivities.
“It’s such a unique opportunity to be out there, hearing people’s stories while being able to tell our own,” he says.
Michael Roy, in front of a Super Bowl ice sculpture in downtown Minneapolis.
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