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Students seek spoon train world record

Liz O'Donnell | Friday, April 24, 2009

Lying side by side along South Quad, 145 students gathered Thursday afternoon to attempt to break the world record for the longest human spoon train.

“We did this last year just for fun,” junior Charlie Mahoney, a co-captain of the event, said. “This year we wanted to break the world record.”

The 145 spooners participating in this year’s “Spooning for Solutions” spoon train will be entered into the Guinness Book of World Records after shattering the old record of 93.

While the record was technically broken last year with a train of 127 spooners, the organizers of the event did not fill out the required paperwork to submit the attempt to the Guinness Book of World Records.

Co-captain Deirdre Murdy said members of the ski team came up with the idea last year to encourage other members on campus to participate in one of the ski team’s favorite pastimes.

“We spoon at the top of the course for warmth,” Murdy said. “We decided to do it again because it’s really a great time.”

New this year to the event was the added incentive to raise awareness for the Alpine Children’s Charity, a charity founded by sophomore Nick DeTrempe, also a member of the ski team.

“The goal of this year’s event was twofold,” Mahoney said. “We want everyone to have a great time and also raise awareness for a great cause.”

DeTrempe said he and his cousins founded the charity five years ago, and it has since raised over $800,000. The main fundraisers for the charity are ski-a-thons.

“We raise money for juvenile diabetes, HIV and AIDS and other illnesses,” he said. “They wanted to associate the world record with the charity and our charity was the one they chose.”

In order for the event to qualify for the Guinness Book of World Records, the spoon train organizers had to meet several requirements and deadlines.

“We had to sign up online and e-mail them the plan,” Murdy said. “Then, we also had to e-mail them forms which were signed.”

She also said Guinness had strict guidelines that had to be adhered to in order for the attempt to count.

“We had to have two witnesses to count and testify the record was actually broken,” Murdy said. “We also have to submit photos, a video and any press the event received.”

Although the actual spooning portion only lasted about five minutes, Mahoney said planning for this year’s attempt began in January.

“Last year we were a little late with our registration for the Guinness Book of World Records, so this year we made sure to register way in advance,” he said.

The organizers of the event enlisted the help of Breyan Tornifolio, rector of Pasquerilla West Hall, and Gary Chamberland, a visiting instructor in the Theology Department, to serve as the official witnesses of the event.

Although the group will have successfully broken the record pending approval from the people at Guinness, Mahoney said he hopes the event will continue.

“I really hope this will carry on,” he said. “I’ll be around for another year so I hope to try and break this year’s record next year.”