Caroling world record is charity fundraiser's aim
It's not on anybody's holiday play list yet, but a growing group of Christmas carolers in a few weeks could be singing "Joy to the World Record."
A Westport church is organizing what it hopes will be the world's largest-ever group of door-to-door Christmas carolers on Wednesday evening, Dec. 12. And it is putting out the call to any groups or individuals who like to sing.
The goal it is make the Guinness Book of World records and at the same time raise money for underfunded school art programs.
The cost to participate is $10 for adults and $5 for children 6 to 12. Proceeds will benefit the Lily Sarah Grace Fund, named in memory of three young Stamford girls who died in a Christmas Day house fire last year -- Lily, Sarah and Grace Badger.
The fund was established by the girls' father, Matthew Badger, and dispenses money to underfunded elementary-school arts programs nationwide.
Participants must register online by Dec. 10.
"Everyone who likes to sing is welcome, but school music programs, church choirs and area glee clubs are especially encouraged to join us," Erik Paul, the event's carol leader said in a news release.
Jim Keenan, the event director, said there is no existing Guinness record for door-to-door caroling. But for any group that wants to try, Guinness set minimum standards of 250 carolers visiting a minimum of 10 houses on at least four streets.
Keenan in an email said One Voice's route exceeds the house and street minimums. As for 250 carolers, he said, "from initial sign-ups, we'll surpass that mark easily."
Organizers checked with homeowners along the route, so those to be serenaded will be expecting the visit. "All the homes that agreed to be sung to are very excited," Keenan said. "They really need some holiday cheer after dealing with Sandy."
Carols selected for One Night include standards such as "Jingle Bells," "Deck the Halls," "Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer" and "We Wish You a Merry Christmas," according to Paul, who is who is Weston High School's music director.
The date of the event -- 12-12-12 -- was chosen because those digits match up only once a century, according to the release.
Organizers said they already have enlisted donations from corporate sponsors to cover the costs of conducting the event, which include $7,500 to have a Guinness representative come to Westport to witness and verify the event.
Money for the charity will come from carolers' participation fees.
One Voice sponsors include Fiat of Fairfield County, MasterCard and Stop & Shop Supermarket Co.
Radio station WEZN-FM 99.9 will do a live remote broadcast at the event, organizers said.