2013-10-25 / Columnists

Rockaway To Rise For World Record

By Katie McFadden

Rockaway is joining together hands across the sand to attempt to set a world record during a Sandy anniversary event on the beach.

The “Rockaway Rising” event, organized by resident Lily Corcoran, calls for residents to come join hands on the beach as they reflect on the storm that changed Rockaway. “It is to honor Mother Nature by saying we know you’re there, we respect the power of your ocean, but we are still here and it has made us stronger,” Corcoran said. “We are one big family.”

The event is meant to set a record for the longest human line holding hands on the beach. Corcoran has been in touch with the Guinness Book of World Records, which accepted the request. Other beach communities are holding similar events that day. Island Park will be participating in the event at the same time as Rockaway’s event via computer, so their participation will also count towards the record. The ceremony is set to take place around twilight on Sunday, October 27th, two days before the first anniversary of the storm. The line will start on Beach 129th Street and will work its way downtown.

According to Corcoran, the event is scheduled to start at 4 p.m. with a sign-in and the start of the line formation. Signatures are required by all participants to be sent to the Guinness Book of World Records. Volunteers will be on hand at Beach 129th Street and at the entrance of several other beaches to record the signatures. For those who may miss the sign-in due to time restraints, Corcoran will be accepting signatures at 522 Beach 125th Street until November 4th. At 4:30 p.m., a fog horn will sound off as an indication to stretch out the line and hold hands to ensure that the single line of people is spaced out. At around 4:45 p.m., an FDNY water cannon boat will work its way down the beach, spraying water in salute. At 5 p.m. another horn will sound and taps may be played for those that were lost. At around 5:05 p.m. a third horn will be sounded to mark two minutes of silence, which will allow residents to hold hands with those next to them while reflecting or praying silently. At 5:15 p.m., another horn will sound to mark the time in which eco-friendly lanterns will be let go into the ocean. The event will end after the lanterns are released.

Some of the lanterns were pre-sold along with “Rockaway Rising” t-shirts and sweatshirts. Proceeds from these items will go towards Christmas gifts for various Rockaway families during a future event. Lanterns will be available to purchase during the day of the event as well on Beach 129th Street. Rockaway Graphics has also produced memorial medallions for the event which can be purchased at 91-17 Rockaway Beach Boulevard. “The medal is great for kids to show their teachers they were part of a Guinness world book try,” Corcoran said.

The record-setting event is expected to be televised through aerial views. Contact Lily Corcoran at hardshoe2@aol.com or check out the Rockaway!!!! One Big Family!!! Facebook page at www.facebook.com/groups/ Rockaway- OnebigFamily/ for more information and updates.

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