Jasmine Knox, Staff Writer
Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity at Florida Southern College bounced their way into the Guinness Book of Records Sept. 6 after spending 48 hours straight in a bounce house.
The group started at 4 p.m. Sept. 4 and went until 4 p.m. on Sunday to break the world record for the longest marathon in a bouncy castle for a team. The previous record recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records was 39 hours, held by a team in England of eight bouncers.
To divide the workload, the brothers split the 48 hours into one-hour shifts for each of the eight brothers on the designated jumping team: Tyler Philolius, Chris Moran, Mason Moreau, Johnathon Fivecoat, Allan Murphy, Tyler Benthal, Blake Gershowitz and Bobby Reimertz. For every hour, one of these brothers was inside the bouncy castle.
“Many times we felt like quitting, but in the end we bared through it and accomplished our goal,” Blake Gershowitz said. “I still can’t believe we did it. Everyone jumped for at least six hours each, afterwards all I wanted to do was sleep.”
Chris Moran, philanthropy chair of the fraternity, said the primary source of inspiration for this attempt came from graduate, Bryant Phillips, who broke his own world record in 2013 by assembling Florida Southern students and faculty in order to break the record for the most high-fives in a single minute. Bryant Phillips is an alumnus of Pi Kappa Phi.
“We had a brother who broke a world record on campus a few years back,” Moran said. “He inspired us to want to break a record together as a chapter. He still lives in Lakeland and has been involved in supporting us over this record breaking attempt.”
The event was inspired by the organization’s philanthropy, the Ability Experience.
“It sounded like fun and like something we could do as a brotherhood, while still benefiting our philanthropy.” Pi Kappa Phi President Tyler Philolius said.
According to Philolius, in 1977, Pi Kappa Phi formed their own philanthrodisability-friendly world. Now known as The Ability Experience, their website said that the vision of the fraternity and the philanthropy is to create a community, one relationship at a time, where the abilities of all people are recognized and valued.
The bounce house was open to any and all members of the Florida Southern community at any given time during the predestinated 48 hours. For a $5 fee, anyone would be permitted inside the bouncy house. For $15, Florida Southern members could purchase a shirt commemorating the event as well as have unlimited access to the bounce castle for the entire weekend. The fraternity raised about ??? and all proceeds were donated directly to The Ability Experience.
The world record was ultimately a success and the brothers managed to keep the bouncy castle occupied for the entire 48 hours.
“It was a ton of fun, I don’t know if I could ever do something like that again, but it’s great to have broken a world record, working really hard, and for a really good cause,” Blake Gershowitz said.
Photos by Bethany Schram