History often repeats itself, but seldom so quickly. In mere weeks, on Oct. 2, the Joseph Brant Hospital Foundation (JBHF) in Burlington, ON will attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the world’s largest human letter.
Just this past week on Sept. 6, Queen’s broke the record, shattering the previous one with 3,373 participants who came together to form the letter Q.
The event lasted around two and a half hours and cost the University approximately $9,000. However, the JBH Foundation had been working on the same idea for months.
According to Kevin Klein, Associate Director of Communications and Stewardship, the first murmuring of the JBHF record attempt began in the late spring of 2016.
The idea for the event emerged from the Foundation’s public launch of its capital campaign, in support of the hospital’s redevelopment and expansion.
The multi-year campaign hopes to raise $60 million for the healthcare hub, including the construction of a new patient tower. As of 2014, the city hospital ran 245 inpatient beds, with upwards of 170,000 patient visits, 13,512 admissions and 47,389 emergency visits per year.
According to Klein, the event is “a great way to build awareness and engage our entire community,” drawing more attention to the campaign for the hospital’s expansion.
Throughout the course of the campaign, members of the City of Burlington and local philanthropists have made multi-million dollar donations to the cause, including a $10 million donation in 2014 from businessman Michael Lee-Chin.
The JBH Foundation was not aware of Queen’s attempt at the record before the planning had started, however “we certainly followed the Queen’s attempt with great interest once we found out about it,” Klein explained.
They are expecting that more than 3,500 participants will form the J from the Joseph Brant Hospital logo. Klein added that “there will be music, entertainment, and food trucks – it will be a festival like atmosphere”.
When asked how much was being spent on the event, keeping in mind Queen’s price tag, Klein responded only by noting that “we are very fortunate to have a number of sponsors on board for the event as well, making this event a true community effort.”
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