Group Raising Money For HIV/AIDS Programs; Hopes To Break World Record

Saturday, July 24th 2010, 7:03 pm
By: News On 6

By Lacie Lowry, The News On 6

JENKS, OK -- A Tulsa area church group could be joining the ranks of other world record holders. Members spent Saturday trying to raise money for HIV/AIDS programs, but they didn't want your dollar bills.

The group is called "Change It" and that's exactly what they wanted -- your change. They're hoping a massive coin drop will get them into the Guinness Book of World Records and save lives in the process.

Three Tulsa teens hope the effort will make miracles happen half a world away.

After a mission trip to India, Kory Myers and his friends wanted a unique fundraiser that the community could rally behind in the fight against AIDS.

"We kinda saw the devastation of HIV/AIDS and it really hit us pretty hard. So when I came back, I started talking to my two friends and we said, 'what can we do about this," said Myers, an event organizer. 

"We really like the idea of making something out of nothing and everyone has spare change," said Ashley Herndon, an event organizer.

They tossed around several ideas at fundraising, but in the end, a Guinness Book of World Records attempt at a coin drop just made sense.

"I had the change to spare and just thought it might be a good idea to put it to good use," said John Lohrey, who donated to the cause.

"The record in Great British pounds is 152,217, so that's about $230,000 U.S. It was set back in Portugal in 1998," said Conor McMichael, an event organizer. 

It's a lofty goal, and one that Jacob Oliver wants to get behind.

"I don't want them to have a bad home and have to camp out on the streets," said Oliver, who donated to the cause.

The money will go to an organization in India that the group has partnered with to help families affected by AIDS.

"They're building an AIDS care center, so it will go to building cottages for AIDS victims," said Myers.

"Those are $8,000, so we are hoping to get enough money to sponsor that, and a whole bunch more," said Conor McMichael, an event organizer.

The fundraising event ended Saturday at 8 p.m. The organizers will find out how much money they raised and whether they broke the world record on Wednesday.