Five Bow Ties

A New Bow Tie World Record

They did it! That’s the report from John Monk of The Sun newspaper.

Over 1,000 people convened at the Columbia Convention Center yesterday — Sunday, February 9, 2014 — for a charity event. Prominent neckwear aficionados were in attendance including influential policy wonk Jay Bender (an expert in South Carolina’s Freedom of Information Act) and his wife Anne Cushman who both sported bow ties. So, what was the occasion?

The people of Columbia, South Carolina in the United States set a new Guinness World Record for the most bow ties tied simultaneously within five minutes. The magic number was 823, but that was well within the safe record setting zone. The previous record was set back in 2012 in Birmingham, United Kingdom. The number back then was 417. One of the maxims surrounding this event must have been, “Go big or go home.”

Some of the proceeds from the event went to Palmetto Health children’s hospital, and there’s a strong mission associated with this successful record attempt.

‘The motto of this event was ‘Tie People Together,’ said Samuel Tenenbaum, president of Palmetto Health Foundation. ‘That’s what this did – you had old people, young people, white, black, men, women, students, nonstudents.’

In order to boost the event’s profile members of the University of South Carolina group Dance Marathon — a philanthropic organization that raises money for Palmetto Health — spent time teaching various communities how to tie bow ties. For instance, the girls’ basketball team from Dreher High School learned how, and there are several bow tie clubs at local high and middle schools. Monk explains:

And bow ties – despite taking up very little real estate on a person’s neck – are an art form among the cognoscenti. After all, there are butterfly bow ties, diamond tipped bow ties, slim bow ties, king-sized bow ties, to name a few shapes. A bow tie is like the violin: some people just can’t do it, no matter how hard they try.

In addition to celebrating neckwear and raising money for a local charity, this world record setting event further helped tie a community together.

Check out this video of the celebration as Michael Empric, adjudicator for the Guiness Book of World Records, confirm the accomplishment at this fete.

This isn’t the only bow tie-themed charitable event. There are other groups and people who actively tie people together while raising funds for worth causes. That’s the power of unity that can form around a fashion statement that some consider quirky.