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Batavia effort to break record for group hug put on hold

Event had been planned for September

Published: Thursday, June 5, 2014 6:32 p.m. CDT

BATAVIA – Organizers have put on hold efforts to set a world record for largest group hug that had been planned for Sept. 13 in Batavia.

"It's too massive of an undertaking to do it by September," said Batavia resident Randy Simonian, who had been organizing the Batavia Group Hug. "Basically, it's a timing thing."

Simonian had hoped to surpass the current Guinness World Record for largest group hug of 10,554 people, set in May 2010 in Ontario in Canada. He said the Batavia Group Hug might happen at a later date.

"If not a group hug, we are going to break a world record of some sort," Simonian said. "The excitement of breaking a world record is on everybody's mind right now."

Simonian said he is used to organizing large events, because he plans large-scale corporate events for a living.

In a post on Batavia Group Hug's Facebook page, Simonian wrote that "Due to multiple constraints (time, sponsorship, volunteers, finances, time, time, time...), it would be near impossible to safely break the record, with only 3 months of production time remaining.

"I'd truly need a small, full-time team to accomplish our goal," he wrote. "With the world watching, there's nothing that would break my heart more than a failed attempt for Batavia ... or worse yet, some unknown obstacle that puts our friends and neighbors in harm's way."

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