Volunteers Fall Just Short of World Record Dressed as Fruits and Veggies

Hundreds of supporters of a local nonprofit fell just short of their aim to break an odd world record Sunday at the Huntington Beach Pier.

The group hoped to gather at least 889 people dressed in vegetable or fruit costumes, to break the record of 888 people in such garb set in China.

A Miracles for Kids supporter with a startup event planning business contacted the nonprofit about the unusual way to raise money and awareness for the Tustin-based organization, which serves ailing and needy children.

"She was inspired by an article she read about a world's record attempt so she wanted to put something of her own together," said Rachel Peterson, a spokeswoman for Miracles for Kids.

"They gave us a call and we were delighted and thrilled to be the beneficiary of this really exciting community event," Peterson said. "You can choose any fruit or vegetable" for the record attempt,

Peterson said. "But the costume has to be a recognizable form front and back. You couldn't wear a T-shirt with a banana on it."

Unfortunately, the group came up a little short of their goal, finishing with 822 people in costume. But in addition to raising money and awareness of the nonprofit, the event was a fun day at the beach for the children it serves, Peterson said

"They are living with a life-threatening illness and some are at or below the poverty line so a fun day at the beach isn't a regular thing for them," she said. "It's a really special event for them and their whole family."

Shuttles were provided to ferry the kids and their families to the beach.

"They're making our clients feel like celebrities," she said.

At the beginning of the week about 500 people had signed up for the event, Peterson said.

Costumes could be obtained when registering, and some organizers hand-made costumes, Peterson said.

"It's a personal project for the organizers -- it's their first foray into world record breaking," Peterson said.

Miracles for Kids serves about 250 families throughout the state.

Needy families apply for help and a caseworker is assigned to help them with a variety of needs from financial assistance, caregiving and a mental health program.

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