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Bethel plans to break a world record with Fall Festival Frisbee® toss

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. -- Two Bethel College sports traditions--one long-standing and well-organized, the other newer and more freewheeling--will come together at the Fall Festival homecoming football game on Saturday, Oct. 1. And the event will make it into the Guinness Book of World Records, if Jeffrey Graber has anything to say about it.

Earlier this summer, Graber--a 2004 Bethel graduate in communication arts who is now working on a master’s degree in sports administration at Wichita State University--was going through wire service stories at KWCH-TV in Wichita, where he works as a promotions producer.

"I saw where the Florida Boys State had a 700-person Frisbee® toss that broke the previous record," Graber said. "At first, I just laughed. But then I began thinking about Bethel’s new sports complex."

Because of his studies in sports administration, Graber has spent a lot of time talking to Diane Flickner, Bethel College’s athletic director. "I knew that Diane was trying to figure out ways to get the whole campus more connected to the new sports complex," Graber says. "Frisbees® and Bethel go together because of the history of Ultimate® Frisbee® there. So I e-mailed Diane and said, ‘This is probably a crazy idea, but what about doing a Frisbee® toss that breaks the world record?’ She loved it. Next thing I knew, people were telling me, ‘I hear you’re organizing a Frisbee® toss at Bethel for the Guinness Book of World Records,’ and I thought, ‘Oh, boy, what have I gotten myself into?’"

The toss will take place at half-time during the homecoming football game against Sterling College. "We’ll have 900 [green plastic disks with ‘Bethel College’ on them]," Graber says. "At halftime, we’ll ask everybody to come down and stand on the track, ringing the field. We’ll do a ‘1-2-3, throw’ and the disks have to go onto the artificial turf. Then we’ll have everyone come in the middle for a picture. And we’re going to try to get this all done in 15 or 20 minutes."

In order to get the event into the Guinness Book of World Records, Graber has already gone to the Web site and filled out an on-line registration form. Then he completed more paper forms and faxed them to the Guinness office in London. Finally, he will need to send documentation--photos, videos, newspaper articles--after the fact.

"I hope getting Frisbee® into the stadium will help bring two rich traditions together," Graber says.

On Saturday, Oct. 1, there will be a special pre-game ceremony honoring Bethel football players and coaches since 1914, men’s and women’s soccer players and coaches (since 1985 and 1995, respectively) and all current Bethel College sports teams, beginning at 6:30 p.m. The homecoming football game starts at 7. All events are on Joe W. Goering Field.

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