UCF falls short in attempt to break high-five chain record
The sounds of clapping hands motioned across the stretch of Memory Mall Friday as Albert Manero continued his journey of changing the world, or in this case, a world record.
Manero is the founder of the nonprofit organizations, Collective Projects and Limbitless Solutions, that create bionic arm prints for kids. The standard prosthetic arm costs nearly $40,000, however, Manero's team prints for $80 to $400 and donates them to children in need – at no cost.
"We're just showing our support while having fun with high-fives," Manero said.
The purpose of the chain was to raise awareness and give hope to kids. The event was started to have the community rally around Alex Pring and Wyatt Falardeau, who have benefited from Limbitless Solutions.
Manero and his team of about 25 to 28 people have been planning the high-five event for the past two months and hoped to bring in at least 2,000 of UCF's 60,000 students to participate in breaking the record, despite the gloomy weather.
"The smile on the kids' faces will trump the chilly weather today," Manero said before the high-fiving began. "Alex is thrilled, he's been practicing high-fives all week."
Pring and Falardeau were the first to start the high-five chain, as they ran across the rows of people standing with outstretched arms. Pring's face was overjoyed at being able to high-five with his new arm.
Niko De Bremaeker found out about the event on the UCF event page. He was excited to be a part of breaking a world record for a good cause.
"I wanted to show support for a new start for this boy who gets a fresh chance at life," Bremaeker said. "It's inspiring." He also said that high-fiving was a great way to interact with other people at UCF.
"It's a way to say hello to a stranger and connect as a friend without even knowing the person's name or who they are. And just say hey you're my brother, you're my friend."
There was diversity in the crowd as people interacted with those standing beside them. Faculty, students and children participated, the only challenge was making sure they high-fived correctly. If they missed, the entire chain of 600 people would have to start over in order to break the record.
UCF graduate Daphne Montalvo wanted to show her school spirit while also giving back to the community.
"This is an opportunity and I took it, to not only get involved with the school events but to be a part of something that benefits humanity," Montalvo said.
Although UCF wasn't able to break the record, there were still smiles on people's faces, knowing they were able to come out and show support.
"We did it, even though we didn't do great…it was fun," 7-year-old Pring said about the high-five chain. He received his new arm in July 2014 and Falardeau, 12, will be next to receive his new arm.
The Guinness World Record currently stands at 1,647 high-fivers, established in September 2014 at Indiana State University.
To donate to Limbitless Solution and the Collective Project to give hope to kids in need, visit www.3DHope.com.
Alexis Minieri is a Contributing Writer for the Central Florida Future.