Yesterday a California man attempted to hug his way into the record books.
David Parsons, 25, planned to spend nearly every waking moment on Jan. 21 hugging as many people as possible in a bid to break the Guinness World Record for most hugs given by one person in a 24-hour period according to The Daily News
The inspiration for this record-breaking attempt was Parsons’ friend and former athletic trainer, Sharon Jenkins. Jenkins worked with Parsons while he was a student Azusa Pacific University and the two became close prior to Jenkins passing away from a relapse of cancer two years ago.
“The last time I hugged Sharon, I had no idea it was going to be the last time I saw her,” Parsons said.
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Besides getting his name in the record books, Parsons’ marathon of warm embraces was a way to get the word out about Grants Wishes, a non-profit organization that grants wishes to children who have been diagnosed with cancer for a second time. Parsons’ goal for Monday was to raise at least $100,000 for the program.
Timed to coincide with National Hug Day (which was yesterday) Parsons’ kicked off the fundraising event at the ESPN Zone in Los Angeles and reportedly had hugged just over 1,000 people at the halfway mark of the allotted 24-hour period. The current world record for hugs in a 24-hour period was set at the Bonnaroo Music Festival by Jonathan Sexton, who embraced 8,709 people.
Whether he set the record or not, Parsons’ had a great goal, a good cause and a positive attitude. He told The News: “There is huge power in a hug. To be able to give someone a release for even a second is so important.”