Three hundred Alaskans can now call themselves world-record holders. The group broke the Guinness world record for most people participating in a fist bumping chain Saturday.


The event was organized by the United Way of Anchorage as a way to raise awareness for the city’s homelessness problem.


“The Guinness World Record is a way to tell the whole world this is what Anchorage stands for,” said the organization’s president, Michele Brown. “When we live united, we can do this.”


A representative from Guinness Word Records flew in to ensure everything was done properly. All participants had to register before being allowed inside a fenced-off area for the fist bumping. Each of them was counted.


The chain started with United Way representatives alongside Mayor Ethan Berkowitz and Alaska First Lady Donna Walker. Each of them exchanged fist bumps with the person next to them, and the cycle continued through the crowd.


“It’s a fun way to get everyone aware of what’s going on,” said Camille Davis, who works with homeless youth regularly at the Covenant House.


A failure to fist bump properly could result in disqualification. However, each of the 300 people in the crowd followed the rules, thus breaking the previous record of 250 people.


“Anytime you create awareness, the people respond,” said Alison Kear, who also works at Covenant House. “I really see this as just another opportunity to give people a place at the table as to say whatever you can do matters.”


Brown said when it came to choosing a record to break, fist bumping was a natural choice.


“It’s a strong, affirmative statement of saying, ‘This is what I believe in. This is what we stand for as a community,’” she said.


To learn about the United Way of Anchorage or to make a donation, click here.


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