CLEVELAND (WJW) – Two Northeast Ohio women known for their role in helping elderly and at-risk people find vaccine appointments during the pandemic are being rewarded with a trip to Super Bowl LVII.
Marla Zwinggi and Stacey Bene are better known in Cleveland as the “Vaccine Queens.”
Back in 2021, they helped more than 2,400 people get the COVID-19 vaccine when demand was high and appointments were hard to find.
“We saw a need, and we partnered with the National Guard, and it was amazing,” Zwinggi said. “We were able to help at the FEMA site. We had a partnership with Discount Drug Mart and we’re just really proud of the work we’ve done.”
For their selfless work, they were surprised with two tickets to the big game this weekend in Glendale, Arizona.
“We both understand that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity,” Bene said. “Marla and I are both Cleveland born and raised. We’ve both been football fans, Browns fans since birth. I don’t think either of us ever thought we would be going to the Super Bowl, so this is just amazing.”
The NFL Foundation, Kindland, Cleveland Browns great Hanford Dixon and Attorney Tim Misny surprised the ladies and Chef Brandon Chrostowski with tickets and airfare to the Super Bowl.
“He presented us with these huge tickets, he gave us these jerseys, so we’re representing Hanford at the Super Bowl and we’re representing Cleveland,” Zwinggi said.
The Vaccine Queens are overly excited and plan to enjoy every minute of the trip.
“We did what we did because we thought it was the right thing to do at the time, never expecting to be rewarded in any way,” Bene said. “Doing the work and helping people was our reward. So, this reward is icing on the cake, and we feel so honored.”