February 7: UofG Students Hopscotch Into Record Books
A fundraising initiative organized by University of Guelph students, including two students from CME, and three area youngsters has set a new world record.
Hopscotch 4 Hope, an event that raised more than $22,000 last October, is now in Guinness World Records as the longest hopscotch game.
Organizers drew more than 5½ kilometres of hopscotch squares along the streets of Eden Mills, Ont. More than 850 participants raised money for Free the Children and Right to Play. Both international initiatives help children in developing countries and have U of G chapters.
U of G’s chapter of Free the Children will use proceeds to help provide water and electricity to a girls’ school in Kisaruni, Kenya. Right to Play will support sport and play programs for children in developing countries.
The U of G students were enlisted by Kory Melnick and Kamari Brown Gain, both Grade 8 students at Rockwood Centennial School, and Grade 6 student Robin Melnick. The trio has formed a charity called Step Up for Change and will spend this year helping disadvantaged children around the world.
All three girls have U of G ties. Linda Melnick, mom of Kory and Robin, is manager of business and client services for the Department of Athletics. Kamari is the daughter of Laura Brown, a special graduate clinical faculty member in the clinical psychology program.
"We’re so excited for the girls,” Linda Melnick said. “Everyone worked so hard, and the main purpose was the fundraising, but it’s great to have the recognition from Guinness as well.”
The group submitted documents, news clips, videos and photos to Guinness officials.
“They require an incredible amount of official documentation and don’t guarantee that you will even hear back from them if you haven’t met all of the requirements for proof,” Laura Brown said.
U of G student leaders were Natalie Binette, Heather Goldring and Jeffrey Friesen of Free the Children, and Erin Flaysher and Zakiya Pirani of Right to Play.
“It was a really successful day, and I think everyone learned a little more about Right to Play and Free the Children, which is just as important,” Binette said.