Cub Scouts Break World Record


Cub Scouts Break World Record

At Lincoln Park in the town of Tonawanda, New York, on Saturday, September 17, 2005, the Cub Scouts of the Greater Niagara Frontier Council break the world record for the most lit candles on a birthday cake, lighting 27,576 candles on one cake. The event was held as part of Akela's Anniversary Bash celebrating the 75th Anniversary of Cub Scouting. Over 400 people were in attendance.

With the Kenilworth Fire Company standing nearby with hoses, organizer Mark Oetinger of Pack 286 yelled, "Ladies and gentlemen, light your candles." Erie County Sheriff Tim Howard joined 12 Scout leaders to light the cake using propane torches. The co-chairs of the event, Angel and Sean Beiter of Pack 202,led the crowd in singing Happy Birthday to Akela, the leader of all Cub Scouts.

The flames rose more than three feet above the cake. The heat was intense, forcing the cake lighters to back away from the cake once their task was complete. Melted wax covered the cake and began pouring off the cake onto the ground. Less than two minutes after it was lit, a firefighter put out the flames using a fire extinguisher. All that was left was a layer of melted wax completely covering the cake.

Jim Pritchard, senior district executive of the Greater Niagara Frontier Council, observed: "It doesn't look like we are going to be able to eat that cake." Dick Sondel of P&R Bakery replied, "A good Scout is always prepared," as he pulled out an extra sheet cake that he brought along for consumption.

The cake, measuring 20 feet long and 18 inches wide, was donated by Village Desserts in Williamsville and P&R Bakery in Tonawanda. Symak Sales Company in Plattsburgh donated the 27,576 candles.

When the Scouts first set out to break the record, it stood at 12,432; however, during the course of planning, it rose to 13,000, then to 15,000, and just two weeks ago, there was a press report of a group lighting 27,000 candles. The 27,576 candles clearly passes every reported world record candle lighting that the committee can find in any source. The Guinness Web site still lists the record as 12,432. The pictures and videos will be sent to the Guinness Book of World Records for verification. Sheriff Howard and Tonawanda Police Detective Bob Goetz served as official witnesses for the Guinness Book of World Records.

The Tonawanda Youth, Parks, and Recreation Department sponsored the daylong celebration. Other events included presentations on bike safety by the Tonawanda Police Department, fire safety by the Kenilworth Fire Company, the jaws of life by the Brighton Fire Company, rock climbing compliments of Niagara Climbing, fishing demonstrations thanks to Gander Mountain, Dutch oven cooking, orienteering, raingutter regatta races, handicrafts, face painting, disc golf, and games.