With more than 1,600 participants, organizers of the Sandy Angels charity event in Seaside Park say they believe they broke a record for the most “sand angels” ever being made at one time.
The officials certificate by the folks at Guinness won’t be known for about six weeks, as staff members validate legal affidavits, registration documents and drone footage, but all signs point to not only a successful record-breaker, but tens of thousands raised for hurricane victims locally and in the Caribbean.
The event’s beginnings were in the offices of OceanFirst Bank, where an employee came upon a video online of people in Michigan making “sand angels” – similar to snow angels – and breaking a record in doing so. When the bank decided to sponsor an event for the fifth anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, the idea was brought up again.
“We looked at each other, and thought we’d be remiss if we didn’t do something,” said Cara Larned, marketing director for OceanFirst, since the bulks of the the bank’s customers and employees are from Ocean County. “But we wanted to be positive and upbeat.”
In all, 1,609 people were documented to have made sand angels, which conceivably would break the Michigan record of 1,387.
The event also raised over $40,000 for hurricane victims, locally and in the Caribbean. A large portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Ocean County Long Term Recovery Group, but given recent events, organizers said they would send donations to the Salvation Army in areas affected by hurricanes Irma and Maria. OceanFirst and New Jersey Natural Gas matched donations offered by participants.
The event also got help from the weather, which was near 70 degrees and sunny.
“Someone was looking down on us,” Larned said.