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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Super Bowl XLVI comes to Greencastle

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Super Bowl Guest Welcome Desk volunteer Stephanie Dietz shows Putnam County Airport Manager John Layne some of the materials she has to share with travelers and visitors to the Dixie Chopper Business Center facility at the local airport. The welcome desk opened Thursday and will assist visitors through Monday afternoon.
Distinctive blue-and-white scarf draped around her neck, Stephanie Dietz set out to greet the masses Thursday at the Putnam County Airport.

The masses, however, were missing. And Dietz, the Indianapolis Super Bowl Committee volunteer manning the Super Bowl guest welcome desk in the lobby of the Dixie Chopper Business Center at the airport, was left mainly to chat with airport employees and visitors to the facility.

The welcome desk has maps, travel guides, brochures and a smiling pretty face. But despite reports elsewhere, no Super Bowl shirts, souvenirs or refreshments.

Meanwhile, the first question Dietz got in Greencastle was: How far is it to downtown?

Of course, that depends on traffic, but "essentially an hour" was a good answer. Unless they actually meant downtown Greencastle.

Realizing Thursday was the calm before the storm since most out-of-towners will be flying in for Sunday's Super Bowl on Friday, Saturday or even Sunday morning, Dietz had plenty of time to talk about her experience as a volunteer.

She will man the booth again Saturday from 12:45 to 6 p.m. and Monday from 9:45 a.m. to 2 p.m.

In between time, she will get a real dose of action, setting up the information and welcome booth at Million Air, the facility adjacent to the Indianapolis Airport, for much of the day Super Bowl Sunday.

"That's when the Brad Pitt types will be jetting in and jetting out the same day," she smiled.

Despite being where the action is on Sunday, Dietz is content with her Greencastle assignment as well.

"Ask me why I picked Greencastle," she offered.

Turns out Dietz, who lives in Indianapolis, graduated from DePauw University, as did her daughter in 2002.

And she owned a farm in Stilesville up until last spring when she sold the 6,300-square-foot horse boarding operation and gave away her six horses to families with children who could enjoy them.

"With my farm in Stilesville, any time I needed anything I would come to Greencastle and go to TSC. So I'm a Greencastle girl at heart even though I don't live there."

Dietz is also proud of Indianapolis and the effort it has made to make the Super Bowl XLVI experience a good one for visitors and Hoosiers alike.

"Not that Indianapolis isn't already on the map" she reasoned, "but this would put us there, no doubt. It has been fantastic, yet I remember when I was at DePauw it (Indianapolis) was called 'Naptown.'"

That's because the city rolled the sidewalks up at 5 p.m. back then. Now they're zip-lining down the main drag at midnight.

Dietz has spent a couple of hours downtown herself this week (paying $20 for two hours of parking at a hotel, incidentally) and says the experience is incredible.

"The committee is so organized, and downtown is pretty phenomenal," she praised, displaying photos of the Super Bowl logo on Monument Circle and a shot of Blue the Colts' mascot standing with her.

The Indianapolis realtor is one of 8,000 Super Bowl volunteers helping create a positive experience for fans and a super image for her hometown.

"One thing we have all been instructed to do," she said, "is that when we're done talking to someone, we're supposed to tell them to 'have a super day.'"

Good advice to be sure. Super Bowl Sunday or any other time.

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