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World record-breaking students say ‘I CAN’

Jun 30th, 2009 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, News

canmain1WELLINGTON young people spent weeks collecting cans for last weekend’s “iCAN” charity project – and then had to defend their haul from thieves.

With 54, 527 cans of food spelling the words iCAN in Civic Square, the project set a new Guinness World Record for the largest canned food structure.

Building began on Friday and Chelsea Ferrier, 18, from Wellington East Girls’ College, was one of five dedicated students on sentry duty who had a chilly, sleepless night protecting the cans from opportunistic thieves.

Some who pocketed cans had to be chased to retrieve them.

As well as providing food for Wellington City Mission, Salvation Army and SPCA, the project was aimed to showcase youth leadership in the community.

Kicking off Sir Peter Blake Leadership Week, the iCAN project originated from a youth conference held by On the Edge Trust, a youth-initiated, youth-run leadership organisation. cansmain3

Student leaders collected cans of food throughout the month-long project, organising can fund-raisers, such as mufti days and competitions, within their schools throughout the Wellington region. 

Several Wellington businesses had can collection points for staff and others provided services free of charge in support of the project. 

“A lot of people have come to the party,” says iCAN spokesman Camron Williams. 

Schools made “amazing” contributions to the project, some collecting three times their school roll in cans.

Deputy Prime Minister Bill English, who addressed iCAN supporters in the square on Saturday evening, told NewsWire: “The Salvation Army have 40% more people this year than last coming to their food banks and they need [the cans].”

BELOW: Wellington students revelling in their record-breaking effort, from left: Bryony Cunningham-Pow, Ramon Telfer, Josh Irving, Julia Thompson, Chelsea Ferrier, Anna Robinson and Nick Barraclough (in front).

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