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Kirkwood's record popping past

Popping the bubble on Kirkwood's record breaking history

By David Kepler
On March 8, 2017

Kirkwood Community College isn't known for it's bubble popping world record status but between two chairs rests a certificate for a successful entry into the Guinness Book Of World Records archives. Many students on campus are unaware that on Oct. 27, 2010, Kirkwood broke the world record for most people simultaneously blowing a bubble from chewing gum, which was 304.

“We didn’t really ever intend to break a world record,” said Associate Director of Student Life Seth Vander Tuig. Mary Huffman, Student Life office assistant and an organizer of the record attempt, said, “We had people from Kirkwood count but we also had to bring people in from the outside because they [Guinness Book of World Records representatives] didn’t want a conflict of interest.” 

    Huffman said students who took part in the attempt sat in numbered chairs to make counting more accurate. They stood up while blowing the bubble and had to hold it for 30 seconds. Students whose bubbles popped had to sit down and could not be counted.

    The record attempt took place during a volleyball game between Kirkwood and Indian Hills Community College. An extended break was called, with the cooperation of the Indian Hills coach, to complete the world record. 

    Forty volunteers helped count 353 participants and their bubbles. The city clerk notarized the final count of 304 bubbles and the Indian Hills coach signed as an official witness to the completed record. Kirkwood Volleyball raised $2,772 for breast cancer research during the record attempt.

    In October 2012 Nintendo broke Kirkwood’s chewing gum bubble record with a total of 536 bubbles blown simultaneously. Although there are no current plans for breaking additional world records, Vander Tuig said, “There’s nothing on the radar but I wouldn’t rule it out."

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