After 24 hours of spinning flags, members of the Lawrence High School Color Guard put away their flags and headed home for showers and sleep.
The spinathon kicked off at noon Friday at the main entrance of the Lawrence Riverfront Plaza, with 30 girls split into pairs and rotating for five-minute shifts.
Members took pledges for each hour they spun the flags and also accepted straight donations. They hope to raise $16,000 by the end of the year to accompany the LHS Marching Band to the New Orleans Sugar Bowl Parade in late December, and also to purchase new flags, jackets and head pieces for the trip.
"I had joked about this with other color guard leaders, but I'm pretty sure we're the first to do it," Scott Stutler, color guard instructor, said Saturday morning. "I like to be creative when I raise money. To knock on someone's door and say, we're going to set a world record for spinning flags that was a little unusual. I think other schools might take this as a challenge."
Stutler said the color guard probably won't know how much money they raised until sometime this week.
PARENTS OF color guard members signed up to supervise in four-hour shifts. "They come with coolers full of pop and all kinds of goodies," Stutler said. "The parents have just been great."
Each girl had 22 shifts of flag-spinning, which they did about 112 times each minute, he said, adding that, "The most spins you'll ever do in a routine is 16 in a row.
"I think everybody's had a real good time with this. Real late last night people started to get kind of testy, but then they got some rest and woke up in a lot better mood."
Rather than using music, the girls kept a consistent tempo with a metronome. The incessant ticking was nerve-wracking at times, the girls said.
"It's been on since we got here," said Celeste Mason, rolling her eyes. "After awhile, you catch yourself tapping your foot to it."
The LHS junior had just finished her shift with Molly Lewis, who also will be a junior this fall, and both looked forward to "getting it over with" and going home for some sleep.
MOLLY SAID weeks of practice prevented the guard members from suffering physical problems during the event. "We have been working (our arms) for the past few weeks at band camp," she said. "We can spin for five minutes without any problems."
Both girls said the time had passed fairly quickly. A television and videocassette recorder had been hooked up, so they watched movies during the night. They also viewed news broadcasts of the spinathon. "They really enjoyed that," Stutler said. "It was a real inspiration to keep them going."
As for setting a world record, Molly smiled and said, "I feel like I'm right up there with the largest ball of twine."