Friday, January 02, 2009

String of Shoes aims at Guinness record

While most people were out tipping glasses to the New Year Wednesday, volunteers were tying shoelaces to break a Guinness World Record at Opry Mills in Nashville, TN.

The volunteers were trying to collect shoes for Soles4Souls to help those in need and break the record for the longest chain of shoes at the same time.

The current record holder is the National Geographic Kids Magazine with 10,512 shoes measuring 8,700 feet. That chain of shoes was tied up in July.

It is estimated that there will be 26,000 shoes to span the mall twice, which is about a mile inside. This is in addition to a tower or massive barrel of shoes holding about 30,000 pair near the mall's second entrance.

"It's overwhelming that something like this is going to impact so many people," said Killian Deats, 18.

Deats, who is striving for Eagle Scout status, got involved in collecting the shoes through his father who works with Soles4Souls.

Dragging mostly tennis shoes tied lace-to-lace out of four-foot tall boxes, Deats and several friends in one group lined the shoes up on the floor throughout the mall. Most of the stores were closed New Year's Eve as the crew struggled to line the shoes up the length of the mall.

Curious visitors couldn't resist watching the spectacle of footwear.

In town for the Music City Bowl, Linda Georganas, 62, of Hamilton, Va., said she thought the shoe charity's record-breaking event was a great idea. Dennis and Betty Brown of Sheffield, Ala., were impressed at how nice the shoes were.

"I think it's fantastic," Dennis Brown said. "I like what they are doing with them afterwards."

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