Slime-lovers in Paradise chase world record, raise cash for childhood cancer
'Contained chaos,' as more than 1,000 people get gooey for a good cause
More than a thousand people in Paradise reveled in goo as they sought to break a world record this weekend, while also raising money for families in need.
"It was just so much fun," says Emily McGrath, 10. "Making slime, you know, it's always fun."
McGrath was on one of the teams registered for Get Messy NL's attempt at breaking the world record for the most people making slime at one time on Sunday.
The previous record for the most people making slime simultaneously was set last year in California, with 933 getting their hands dirty in the attempt.
But now, organizers of this latest attempt say they've got them beat, with at least 1,000 people showing up to Paradise on Sunday.
The event required two timers to keep track of the 10-minute creating window, in addition to officiants, photographers and videographers gathering evidence, in order to meet Guinness World Records standards for breaking a record.
Organizers will submit all of their information to Guinness for review before they can be officially approved.
It's a record Aaron Rumbolt "never in a million years" thought he'd be a part of, but said he's glad he took part.
"It was actually really cool to be a part of something like this," he said. "I've always heard about records being set in the world, but I've never actually been a part of one myself."
His dad, Rick Rumbolt, also got his hands dirty making slime, and said it was definitely a fun way to spend his Sunday afternoon.
"Usually when I get out of bed, I start with a nice cup of slime to start my day off, so it's nothing new here," he said.
"We said we were gonna do it. We did it."
It's not just the world record that counts, say organizers Jennifer Hiscock and Joanne Newman, co-owners of Get Messy NL, a company that organizes children's birthday parties.
Money raised by the event is going toward Candlelighters NL, a charity that helps support families affected by childhood cancer.
"We hope that it definitely helps the families alleviate some of the pressures that can be caused by childhood cancer, and if we can just help one family get through even Christmas, then that makes us happy," said Hiscock.
As of Monday morning, the event had raised at least $6,000 in online donations, but that doesn't include on-site cash donations that have yet to be counted.
Hiscock said they're still counting registration forms to finalize the exact number of people making slime simultaneously, but they were for sure over 1,050, she said.
"It was a contained chaos."
A lot of hustle
The idea came to Hiscock one day while she was at work teaching. One of her students was reading a Guinness World Records book, and she thought there must be something they could do.
Since slime-making is something Hiscock and Newman do all the time for children's parties, it just made sense.
"It's the bestseller. All the kids love slime," said Newman. "Parents hate it, but the kids love it."
She reached out to Guinness in May, and heard back in August that they were approved to compete, making it a short turnaround for them to organize the event.
"We only got the approval three and a half weeks ago that we could do this, so we pulled this together," Hiscock said.
We were on pin and needles waiting for things to arrive.- Joanne Newman
"Just the two of us," Newman added with a laugh.
That meant late nights putting together kits for each slime maker, as well as actually getting materials — another nerve-racking ordeal, Newman said.
Glue and saline was donated by Elmer's Canada and Bausch & Lomb, respectively, she said, but had to be shipped.
"Neither arrived until Wednesday and Thursday of this week, so we were on pins and needles waiting for the things to arrive," Newman said.
"And then once they did get here, it was just steady with friends and family and the two of us up late hours, pouring up pots of glue for every bag."
Waiting to hear on record
For now, Hiscock and Newman will continue to gather their evidence to submit to Guinness, but they feel confident their submission will be accepted.
"We have beaten the record. We just don't have the official word from Guinness," Hiscock said. "It takes about 12 weeks for them to get back to us."
Hiscock and Newman said they were happy to see things come together not just so they could break the record, but also to raise money and awareness for a good cause.
"It's amazing, really, to see everybody come together," said Newman.
Their company has worked with Candlelighters NL on multiple occasions, Hiscock said, and they knew it was the organization they wanted to support.
"We knew that we had to focus on that charity. We have nobody affected by childhood cancer ourselves, but you never know when that could hit you," Hiscock said.
"We hope that it definitely helps the families alleviate some of the pressures that can be caused by childhood cancer, and if we can just help one family get through even Christmas, then that makes us happy."
With files from Meg Roberts