All Vanessa Ames wanted to do was find a unique gift for her parents, Susan and Rick Magee.
The family full of Steelers fans have just about everything black and gold, and just simply finding anything out of the ordinary for them has always been a challenge for Ames.
So, when she saw the Rock Steelers Style auction on steelers.com last fall, she knew she hit the jackpot. There was an auction item like no other – an opportunity to bid on designing a Terrible Towel that the team would then produce and sell.
And her bid won.
"Getting anything in the form of a gift for my parents is a near impossible task," said Ames, who lives in Houston, Texas. "They have been around the world and have a lifetime full of things. I saw the auction on steelers.com and immediately saw what I consider a once in a lifetime gift for any Steelers fan. Helping to inspire and design a Terrible Towel that not only would be a part of Steeler Nation, but would give back to the charities was truly a win-win.
"It might be cliche, but it means the world to be able to do this. They have given me so much throughout my life, support, a loving home growing up and of course being a Steelers fan. This gift, small in comparison to what they have done for me, honors what they have instilled in me, hard work, family, and screaming Here We Go Steelers at the top of my lungs."
Ames and her parents, who are originally from Pittsburgh, collaborated on the design, something that her job as a chief creative officer for an advertising agency helped quite a bit with. They did the Pittsburgh skyline, featuring the bridges as well, with a plane flying overhead displaying the family's love of the team.
"Through many fun conversations and brainstorms, we all worked together to create designs that honored them and really all the Pittsburgh Steeler fans," said Ames.
Her parents were definitely taken aback by the gift, something they never expected.
"We are extremely excited to have the Terrible Towel for purchase," said Susan Magee, sharing both of their thoughts. "We will probably buy a dozen ourselves. Having the famous skyline on the towel makes it more special and probably more interesting to other Steeler fans. Being able to include the Pittsburgh skyline on our Terrible Towel is very special to us. Each time we return to our hometown, we make it a point to go up to Mt. Washington to see that wonderful, amazing view.
"To have our Terrible Towel in Heinz Field is totally awesome and we are honored. The fact that our daughter and her agency took time to listen to our story and help put this amazing idea together makes this honor even sweeter."
The Magees definitely have a collection of Terrible Towels and other Steelers' gear in the home in Charleston, South Carolina, but having this one added to the collection, that will top it all.
"We can't wait to twirl our new towels with pride," said Magee. "As dedicated Steelers fans, we have raised our children to be dedicated Steeler fans also. You could consider it part of the family contract. We all fly the flag, proudly wear our jerseys, and twirl our Terrible Towels every week during the season. When our daughter Vanessa was married in 2016, one of her guest gifts was Terrible Towels."
And now, her parents got the ultimate Terrible Towel gift.