Big Crowd Turns Out As MHS Seeks Record
UPDATE: The preliminary count indicates approximately 1440 people attended the dessert party. Event organizers will be submitting an exact figure as well as evidence (including photos) to Guinness soon.
"We're excited about the number and hopeful Guinness recognizes it as the world record," said Denise Batista, one of the organizers.
"It was a lot of fun," said Colleen Murphy, another organizer. "We would love to get the record but no matter what, this event was a success. We are thrilled by the way our students, staff and the entire community pulled together."
The original story:
A woman in Russia gave birth to 69 children -- 16 pairs of twins, seven sets of triplets and four sets of quintuplets.
A cat named Crème Puff lived for 38 years and 3 days.
A car traveled 763 miles per hour in a desert in Nevada.
That information comes courtesy of the folks at Guinness World Records, who for more than 60 years have been the clearinghouse for information about all sorts of biggests, bests, oldests and so on.
Manchester High School is hoping to get its own place in the record book in a somewhat more obscure category when on Thursday, May 26 it holds what it hopes will be the world’s largest “dessert party.”
The record is now held by a group in Hong Kong, which just this month had 1166 people at a dessert party.
“We are hoping we can top that number and expect it will be a lot of fun,” said Colleen Murphy, a counselor at MHS who is part of the planning committee.
The committee actually set out to plan a pep rally, something the high school holds each sports season. Committee members thought that pursuit of a Guinness World Record would add a whole ‘nother level of excitement to the event.
And it has.
“People are excited,” said Principal Jill Krieger, adding that she believes school spirit is on the rise at MHS in part because of events such as the pep rallies.
As evidence of Krieger’s commitment to improve school culture, she agreed to schedule this pep rally during the school day. Students will head out to the football field at about 1:05 p.m., when the last period of the day begins.
Denise Batista, another school counselor on the planning committee, said that seeking a Guinness World Record is more complicated than it might seem.
The committee had to submit a fairly extensive and detailed application explaining what they would be doing and acknowledging various terms and conditions that must be met.
For example, in the “mass participation -- single venue” category, Guinness requires that there be one “steward” designated for every 50 people involved in the record-breaking attempt.
These stewards can’t be from the within the organization attempting the record, so MHS has been recruiting people from around town who might be willing to witness this historic attempt.
Guinness also provides pages of particulars, right down to acceptable counting methods and expectations of evidence. (For example, MHS plans to submit aerial photos as documentation.)
The party will take place on the football field and this will be one of the last times anyone will stand on the grass. That’s because the grounds will be torn up right after Memorial Day and be replaced by artificial turf.
The high school has about 1,600 hundred students, but juniors and seniors who have a study hall the last period of the day have early-dismissal privileges. Also, any student who wants to ‘opt out’ of the pep rally will be given the option of staying inside in the cafeteria or another supervised place. So, it’s not certain how many students will be on the field -- or how many of the more than 200 staff members will be able to participate.
As for the desserts, committee members are seeking donations from local businesses including bakeries and so forth. Also, the high school culinary classes are making extra treats to bring outside on the big day.
Event organizers say that breaking the record would be great, but that the real reward comes from the community pulling together for a common goal.
Still, Principal Krieger is optimistic.
“If the weather cooperates,” she said, “I think that breaking the dessert record will be a piece of cake.”
Anyone in interested in volunteering as a steward, or donating desserts, is asked to contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or calling 860-268-6377.