In order to make a young girl’s wish come true, marketing students at California State University, Fresno attempted to break the record for the world’s longest paper chain link.
The project was known as Links of Love. Partnered with the local chapter of Make-A-Wish Foundation, Links of Love attempted to break the world’s longest paper chain link and donated all proceeds to Sierra M.
Eight-year-old Sierra is diagnosed with a rare neurodevelopmental disorder known as Rett Syndrome. Her wish is to go on a Disney Cruise. Thanks to the hard work of numerous volunteers and the marketing students at Fresno State, Sierra’s wish was granted. She and her family will enjoy a Disney Cruise in February 2012.
Even though the world record was not broken, by selling individual links, raffle tickets and t-shirts, Links of Love was able to raise the money to grant Sierra’s wish.
In addition, Links of Love reached out to the local community. Dog House Grill, Logan’s Roadhouse, Panda Express on the Fresno State campus and the Fresno Grizzlies were just some of the many sponsors that helped make Sierra’s wish a reality.
To try and build the world’s longest paper chain link, Links of Love hosted a 24-hour long event in a warehouse in downtown Fresno. Volunteers gathered at the warehouse, located at 2600 Ventura Ave. to measure and combine the paper chain links.
Nikita Fox and Krista Kenyon both volunteered to connect the paper chain links.
“We need trip credit for our recreation class, but we’re going to stay all 24 hours.” Fox, a criminology student at Fresno State, said.
Besides the need for class credit, Fox and Kenyon both support the purpose of the event.
“We really wanted to help out the cause,” Kenyon said. “Fulfilling someone’s wish like this just makes you feel really good inside.”
Fulfilling Sierra’s wish wasn’t an easy task.
Marketing student Ellen Coley said that many times things didn’t go as planned.
“Having a plan B has been very important to us,” Coley said.
Keeping track of all the paper chain links has also been a difficult mission.
“Keeping track of how much each volunteer has done hasn’t been an easy task,” Anne Hayden said. Hayden is a marketing student at Fresno State.
The paper chain links are 4 inches wide and 18 inches long. At every 100 feet increment, a pink paper chain will be added. Links of Love needed 3,168 colored links to break the world record.
Hayden thinks that a main reason the world record wasn’t broken was because of the lack of volunteers.
“Our group just didn’t have the man power needed,” Hayden said. “The volunteers we had were amazing and most worked through the night but 24 hours is too long for a lot of people to stay awake.”
By the end of the event, the paper chain link was more than 30 miles long. It will now be donated and used to decorate the venue for Hope for the Holidays. As an event held by Hands On of Central California, Hope for the Holidays will help provide less fortunate children with a more festive atmosphere.