Superhero organizers have new world record to beat

Thursday, October 7, 2010 | 6:10 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — How cool would it be to kick Will Ferrell’s butt?

That is the first thing Sean Spence, the event coordinator for “Be a Superhero for Columbia Public Schools,” thought after he found out Will Ferrell and company raised the bar on the world record for the largest gathering of superheroes during an October promotion in Los Angeles for the upcoming Dreamworks movie "Megamind."

Superhero rules

HOW TO BE A SUPERHERO (No special powers required)

THE EVENT: Registration begins at 11 a.m. Oct. 30 at the Hickman High School football field.  The event is free; donations will be accepted. Proceeds from donations and sponsors will benefit the Columbia Public Schools Foundation with a goal of $5,000. There will be games, a bounce house and prizes.

COSTUMES: The superhero or supervillian must be from a “published book, comic, television program or film,” according to the event’s website. Costumes can be made or purchased. Gotcha, a costume shop located at 27 N. Tenth St., will have an exchange rack beginning Oct. 15 for anyone wishing to trade one superhero costume for another. Gotcha also has Batman and Robin costumes for rental; a part of the proceeds from those rentals will benefit the Columbia Public Schools Foundation.

Creative Days Art Studio will host superhero costume making until 7 p.m., every Thursday leading up to the event beginning Oct. 14. The studio will help children and adults make accessories to their costumes such as belts, capes, masks, shields, arm cuffs, chest plates, boot covers and animal ears.

“If they have the basics with them then we can provide them the details,” Co-owner Cristy Lillig said. 

There will be simple hand sewing to help with the accessories. The cost is $7 per hour, and every $5 of the $7 goes to the Columbia Public Schools Foundation.




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Ferrell voices the character Megamind, a supervillain.

Guinness World Records lists the new record as 1,580 — just 80 more superheroes than the previous record. “If they had broken (the record) with 10,000 people, that would be a different story,” Spence said.

The new goal for the free event on Oct. 30 at the Hickman High School football field, announced on Sept. 14, stands at 1,581.

“We need lots and lots of volunteers, and we need lots and lots of people to show up in superhero costumes,” he said.

The superheroes will need to provide their names along with their heroes' or villains' name to be officially counted. 

“Their presence is verified by two witnesses who sign,” Spence said. Participants do not have to bring witnesses; witnesses will be present at the event.

Group pictures will be sent to Guinness World Records. Participants will gather in the bleachers for photographs and the final count at 12:15 p.m. 

Spence said there won't be any Guinness World Records officials at the event. “To have Guinness come in is fairly expensive, and we would prefer that money go to public schools instead of spending thousands of dollars to have someone come in,” he said.

 “We will send them the originals of all the signature sheets and all of the photographic evidence that we collect as well as an affidavit to two unbiased judges, who will verify everything,” Spence said. “This thing is going to be nuts."

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