Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Photo gallery: Plano man breaks Guinness World Record for longest candy necklace
Finally, a necklace suitable for Jabba the Hut!
PLANO While many north Texans unwound from work this holiday weekend, Lewisville resident Collin Gouldin savored his fruit-flavored labor. No stranger to Guinness World Records, the '04 Plano Senior High graduate added a third notch to his world record belt on Saturday when he revealed his ridiculously long grape(ish) candy necklace at the Willow Bend Church parking lot.
Despite the commodified version of "The World's Largest Candy Necklace," Gouldin's epic adornment establishes the first Guinness World Record's sanctioned sugar charm. During an interview at his assembly plant (1 bedroom apartment), Gouldin revealed, "I think the key to breaking records is to find something that's done poorly or not at all."
Over the past few months, Gouldin braved insect infestation and inhaled sugar dust as he ingeniously fashioned the necklace in 10-meter segments. Grabbing handful after handful of the at-cost candy beads he acquired from a sweets company in California, Gouldin funneled the sugary stuff down fitted tubes and threaded a tapestry needle through the contraption to create each segment. A fortress of utility buckets, each filled with completed segments, stood in his dining area as the potential ant buffet was stored air-tight.
For Gouldin, who surpassed Paula Deen's record for the most strawberries dipped in chocolate in one minute and briefly held the title for an impressive drum roll that lasted over four hours, the impetus to world record breaking isn't about being in a novelty book. When he made his candy necklace manifesto, Gouldin created a unique fundraising opportunity for IDEAfarm, a humanitarian project launched by Atlanta based Broken Voices. "All the money I'm raising from this is going to IDEAfarm to help these students change these worlds forever," Gouldin noted with conviction. Inspired donors could "sponsor" each meter of the necklace for $5, which added up to around $1,700 that Gouldin donated to the youth-oriented idea incubator. After assembly, each sponsored meter was tagged with the donor's name, marking the sweetness of their contributions.
On Saturday, when Gouldin revealed his creation, friends and family showed up to see their sponsored segments and congratulate the record setter. Spanning the width of Plano's Willow Bend Church Parking lot several times, the candy necklace was laid out like a walking path, delicately trekked by awestruck admirers. In lieu of official Guiness judges (who apparently charge a fee for their services), supervising land surveyor Donald Crowley and technician Michael Black precisely measured the edible jewelry at 1,141.2206 meters. Responding to the temptation of tasting their project, Crowley grinned, "We may do that when we're finished."
Fortunately, the sweet-toothed surveyors, spectators and insects managed to stave off temptation long enough for Gouldin to meet and exceed his requirements. However, since the three-time world record holder is not required to keep his candy creation, there are still 183,701 sugar beads up for grabs.
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