Genesee star sets world record
CORRECTION: Updated November 9, 2012 to reflect that Guranjan Aulakh, who is a student at Kettering University, is an Applied Mathematics student, not an engineering student as previously noted.
FLINT -- It’s official. The Guinness Book of World Records has granted the title of “Official World Record Holder of Largest Human Star” to the Genesee County Great Start Parent Coalition.
“Being recognized in the Guinness World Records is just the beginning for Genesee County in bringing awareness to early childhood,” said Genesee County Great Start Parent Coalition Liaison Karla Mancini, who masterminded the Star Power event that took place in April.
Star Power connects and empowers Michigan residents to be champions for early childhood investment as a cost-effective way to spur the economy and provide best opportunities for children in our state. The event helps highlight the critical links between preparing Michigan’s young children for school readiness and life success and the state’s future economic vitality.
Since Star Power began in 2007, the event has been one of the largest citizen gatherings annually on the Capitol lawn in Lansing.
“Our ultimate goal is to change the way people think about learning and when it begins,” Mancini said. “So, if it takes lofty goals and big events to g
et this point across, we will continue to grab the attention of media and families by working with local agencies, schools, and businesses in exciting ways.”
The official number of people breaking the world record on that sunny April day was 606 people, standing for 10 minutes on the football field at E. A. Johnson High School in Mt. Morris. The previous record was held by a group of 365 people in star shape form at the Watford Leisure Centre in Woodside, United Kingdom.
Guranjan Aulakh, a Kettering University Applied Mathematics student, designed the star outline that was meant to hold at least 500 people. Prior to the event, Mancini said expecting 500 to attend was optimistic. “We were really hoping for 400.”
Instead, 606 people crowded into the star wearing white T-shirts (a requirement set by the Guinness World Records). Parent and grandparents, children in strollers and wheelchairs, children on shoulders and babies cradled in mom’s arms helped break the record.
Each person was documented on a registration form with personal information and then counted as they passed through the gate. A loud roar erupted when the count surpassed the old record.
Mancini said she checked the Guinness World Records website daily for weeks after the event. “We turned in all our paperwork right away. But day after day I didn’t see anything. A few weeks ago, I stopped looking. Then I looked this week … and there we were.”
Discussion already has turned to next year and what Genesee County might do next. What could be bigger and better than a world record? Stay tuned.
“We’ve already got a few great ideas,” Mancini said.
Find the official listing at the Guinness World Records website.
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