Fresno State marketing students are taking on three marks in “Guinness World Records” this semester – biggest fruit salad, most people wearing sunglasses at night in one place and longest paper-link chain.

The projects are by students in the “Strategic Marketing” class taught by Dr. William Rice in the Department of Management and Marketing Department at the Craig School of Business.

Every semester, students undertake a major marketing campaign. In recent years, students have promoted everything from the largest recycled Bulldog to last year’s unsuccessful effort to stage the largest water balloon fight.

The student projects usually benefit a charitable cause as well, which is the case with the first of this semester’s three record attempts, beating the 8,866-pound standard for largest fruit salad, which began Thursday, Nov. 3, at P-R Farms in Clovis. The fruit will be donated to the Poverello House, Fresno Rescue Mission and other community benefit organizations.

The challenge is to cut up more than 12,000 lbs. of peaches, plums, nectarines, apples and Asian pears donated by Gerawan Farming, Kingsburg Orchards and Trinity Fruit Sales.  After the fruit’s cut, it’s placed in a 2,500-gallon plastic water tank, which will be weighed to see if it can eclipse the nearly 4.5-ton record set in Peru on July 27, 2003.

The public was invited to observe the event and take a bag of fruit once the salad was completed and weighed.

The paper-link chain challenge, which students have dubbed Links of Love, will raise funds for the local chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation through the sale of individual links ($1) and t-shirts, a raffle (tickets $5) and sponsorships. Students have persuaded numerous community sponsors to contribute prizes for the raffle.

Proceeds are designated to help grant the wish of an 8-year old Fresno girl for a cruise with her family. She was diagnosed with Rett Syndrome, a rare neurodevelopment disorder.

To build its chain, Links of Love will host a 24-hour public event Dec. 2 and 3 at a warehouse at 2600 Ventura Ave. in downtown Fresno. Sixty volunteers will link strips of paper four inches wide by 18 inches long into 500-foot sections. The final measurement must exceed 54.33 miles to establish a record.

A fundraiser was held Wednesday, Nov. 2, at the intersection of Shaw and Cedar avenues, adjacent to campus, and others were scheduled noon-4 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 3, and Nov. 10 at the Henry Madden Library on campus.

Links of Love also is partnering with Logan’s Roadhouse restaurant for a fundraiser at 5 pm. Wednesday, Nov. 9, to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Central California. An event voucher (required) is available at the Links of Love Facebook fan page.

Shades at Knight is the sunglasses project, scheduled Dec. 1 to benefit Fresno Rotary Storyland and Playland in Roeding Park. The funds are earmarked to help restore King Arthur’s Castle and the Pinocchio Theatre. Details of the public event were in development.

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