Students crowded the Terrace in the Wilkinson Student Center on Wednesday to eat all 1,468 feet of the World’s Longest CougarTail in support of the Valley United Food Drive for Community Action Services.
This is the second year the Student Alumni Association has sponsored the World’s Longest CougarTail to raise money for the food drive. Last year, the giant maple bar stretched a quarter-mile. This time, it was 148 feet longer, and the organizers hope to increase the length every year.
“We hope to make it a tradition every year as a way to gain lots of support and money for the food drive,” said Student Alumni Association member Savannah Bassett, a public relations major from Johannesburg, South Africa.
According to Student Alumni Services, volunteers began laying out the CougarTail in 5-inch pieces in the Terrace around 6 a.m. on Wednesday to prepare to begin selling them for $1 at 8 a.m. However, the hard work began much earlier than that. Dining Services began baking the CougarTail in the early hours of the morning.
“Dining services donated all of the supplies and labor … that was really fantastic of them,” Bassett said.
Dining Services has been involved with BYU’s food drive efforts for many years and was happy to support the efforts of the Student Alumni Association to raise money and awareness for families in need, explained Dining Services acting director Cordell Briggs.
“We felt that we could leverage our contribution by donating a relatively small amount of ingredients which in turn can be converted … to purchase much more food through the efforts of the Food Drive,” Briggs said. “We feel a small contribution of ingredients can, in the end, make a big difference to those in need.”
The World’s Longest CougarTail event was made successful completely by the help of volunteers. Bassett said she loves how it brings the community together and encourages people to think outside of themselves.
In addition to the food collected over the course of the week, all of the money raised will be given to Community Action Services, which will then purchase more food with the collected funds.
“It’s cool we are all coming together for one purpose,” said Student Alumni Association president Flint Gardner, a business management major from Orem. “We are so fortunate. This is an opportunity for us to give back and show that we are grateful.”