“It’s huge. I can’t explain it. I can’t explain it.”
Tears filled Tommy Johnson’s eyes in the moments after he and his closest friends and family set a new Guinness world record. Twenty-six hours of wiffle ball in itself is impressive, but this group didn’t stop there.
“The biggest thing is that we’re raising money for Alzheimer’s,” Johnson explained Saturday evening. It’s a cause near and dear to his heart, as his father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and died from the disease.
“Look at all this. All them people, donating time,” Johnson added, motioning to the crowd of volunteers and spectators on the sidelines of his backyard field in Lakewood Township.
This wasn’t just a marathon for the guys playing the game. From around 4pm Friday to just before 6pm Saturday, volunteers were continually videotaping, keeping score, recording in log books and signing forms to send to Guinness for review.
Bradley Gantt served as the opposing team’s captain and said they would play for four hours at a time, followed by a 20 minute break.
“That 20 minutes is huge, just being able to sit and relax, because it goes so quick when we’re hitting and going,” he said. “It’s literally a marathon.”
This isn’t the first time the group has taken a shot at the world record. Johnson said the idea came about during a class reunion two years ago, but they were rained out during their first attempt.
Years of practice and hard work paid off this year, however, and Johnson and Gantt agree – setting a new world record is a major accomplishment, but the true victory lies in the money raised to fight a debilitating disease.
Johnson continues to raise money for Alzheimer’s research through the Alzheimer’s Association. Click here to donate.