By Tamas Mondovics
Residents were invited last month to take part in the Soccer for a Cure Guinness Book of World Records event and to be a part of making history by breaking the current 66-hour record of playing while also raising money to support cancer research.
While the attempt, led by James Bard of Brandon, had fallen short of its goal of reaching 70 hours, there was no shortage of volunteers and players who gave their best to make the event a success regardless of the final digits.
“Unfortunately, we had to end the game early with the final outcome of 34 hours,” Bard, 37, said, but added, “While the result was not quite as we had hoped, it was not without success, including the breaking of the current U.S. record of 29 hours, as well as the raising of more than $12,000 for the cause.”
Bard’s motivation behind the effort has to do with the loss of his dad, James Bard Sr., who died in 2009 at age 65, less than a year after being diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma, a cancer traced to his asbestos exposure in the United States Navy, where he served as a firefighter during the Vietnam War.
“The event was a special fundraising project with proceeds benefiting the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation, (MARF), a nonprofit group that helps fund research and raise awareness.” Bard said.
The game, which required no experience just heart and a desire to help, was played at the Flames Soccer Complex at JC Handley Park at 3104 South Kings Ave. in Brandon and, as Guinness requires witnesses at all times by upstanding citizens and leaders of the community.
More than 100 volunteers from Riverview, Brandon, Valrico Bloomingdale and surrounding communities were present to witnesses and keep a log on the world record-breaking soccer game attempt.
For more about this event and why this game is being played, visit Soccer for a Cure Facebook Page and Asbestos.com.