Sunshine Foundation

Celebrating An Officially Amazing Partnership

Thursday, November 2, 2017

On June 21st, 2017, the longest day of sunshine of the year, Sunshine and TJX Canada kicked off summer with a unique, fun-filled celebration of a longstanding partnership, setting the Guinness World Record for the Largest Human Image of a Sun.

The record-setting group of 769 people, which included TJX Canada home office Associates, Sunshine alumnus Nathan, his mom Lynn, Sunshine staff, members of Peel Regional Police and event sponsor Canadian Pacific representatives, all donned yellow and orange shirts and hats to create a spectacular, colourful image in the likeness of the Sunshine “sun” logo and raise funds and awareness for Sunshine’s mission.

“This was a truly collaborative event that reflects the spirit of partnership, which carries through everything we do together,” says Nancy Sutherland, Sunshine CEO. “Choosing to break this record was, for us, symbolic of the way in which Sunshine and our incredible partners at TJX Canada help Sunshine kids break through barriers they face in their lives by making their dreams come true. We see our Sunshine logo as a symbol of hope, optimism and a brighter future for Sunshine children. Having us all come together in the shape of that image was a special experience for everyone who took part.”

The event required detailed planning to meet the requirements set forth by Guinness World Records. Participants pre-registered and a drawing was created that would allow organizers to map the sun image onto the surface of the parking lot staging area to the precise measurements required for the number of participants taking part. The entire staging area was fenced to control access to the staging area with turnstiles put in place to count each participant upon entry, third-party witnesses and timekeepers were secured, and a group of TJX Canada Associates volunteered to help coordinate and oversee the formation of the sun on event day.

Immediately prior to the attempt, participants gathered together for words from representatives from Sunshine and TJX Canada and some warm-up dancing to the Macarena. Then, each participant entered the fenced area through the turnstiles and moved to their assigned positions, with Sunshine alumnus Nathan and his mother Lynn the last two to take their positions within one of the suns rays. After holding the sun image in place for the five minutes required by Guinness World Records, an air horn signalled the time limit had passed and participants celebrated by throwing their hats into the air before making their way outside the staging area to trucks offering ice cream.

All of the action, from set up through to the final air horn, was captured in photos and video – from the ground and from 50 feet in the air courtesy of a large scissor lift, donated by Dwight Crane – in order to meet the requirements of the Guinness World Record submission and validate the record.

“There were a lot of moving parts to this event,” says Heidi Spannbauer, Sunshine VP Marketing and Development. “We’re incredibly grateful to everyone from TJX Canada, as well as to the sponsors and the participants for supporting the event and making it a huge success. It was very exciting to receive notification that we had succeeded in setting the record and sharing that news with everyone who took part. As Guinness World Records has proclaimed to us, we can now say that we are 'Officially Amazing'.”

Watch the event unfold in this time lapse video: