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|Calling All "Elizabeths"
|An Illinois community is trying to break what it says is its own world record for the number of people named Elizabeth gathered in one place.
The town of Elizabeth is holding its second annual Gathering of Elizabeths on June 27. Organizers say 436 people named Elizabeth, ranging in age from 9 to 87, met at the event last year.
They say the Elizabeths came from 128 cities and eight states. People who participated had to show a copy of a birth certificate or driver's license.
Rudy Pascoe, co-chairman of the Gathering of Elizabeths, says besides breaking their own record, this year the town is trying for a Guinness world record. To do so, the town must beat out a gathering of people named Mohammed who set a world record in Dubai in 2005. The record is for the most people with the same name gathered in one spot and stands at 1,096. The catch, according to Pascoe, is that Guinness counts only those with the first name Elizabeth, and those who attend must have a birth certificate for proof. He says for the town record, Elizabeth can be a person's first, middle or last name, so all are welcome to attend.
The town created the event to honor famous Elizabeths, including women who were among the community's first settlers. Pascoe says the women defended the town from an attack by the Native American Warrior Black Hawk at the Apple River Fort in the 1800s.
Carol Elizabeth Schwerdtfeger, an Elizabeth resident for 44 years, participated in last year's event and plans to do so again this year. She says last year's event was "a very special experience."
Will the Gathering of Elizabeths go beyond this June? Pascoe says it depends on state funding for Apple River Fort, one of the state historic sites shuttered by ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich and recently re-opened by Gov. Pat Quinn.
More information can be found online by CLICKING HERE.
(Illinois Radio Network)
|06 21 09 by Newsroom
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