FAIRFIELD — Jason Perkins’ world-record attempt ended on a somber note Friday after 80 hours of ringing a bell for the Salvation Army.
Three volunteers were still competing for the world record Friday when they heard of the mass shooting in Newton, Conn.
After hearing the news, Perkins reached out to fellow competitors Darrell Tureskis of Springfield, Ill., and Ryan Gass of Roswell, N.M., to propose they end in unity for the victims of the shooting.
“It wouldn’t be fair for us to go on. It would not be fair to the lives lost,” he said.
So instead of ringing until there was one man left standing, Perkins, Tureskis and Gass decided to share the record at 80 hours at 6 p.m. California time.
For the last 27 minutes, however, Perkins rang in silence for the 27 people who died Friday.
After Perkins breached the world record late Thursday night, supporters outside Walmart were filled with joy and excitement. Friday, however, friends, family and staff took a moment of silence and reflection.
Perkins clutched daughters Miranda and Madison tight, holding back tears as he reached closer to his end goal. All along, Perkins’ feat wasn’t about beating some world record, he said. It was about giving back to the community, and now – more than ever – the community needs support.
Capt. Jonathan Harvey said in prayer that he hopes Perkins’ efforts stand as a symbol of hope in these moments of darkness. Another reason to have hope: Perkins is estimated to have raised $15,000 for the community as a result of his bell-ringing effort.
Reach Heather Ah San at 427-6977 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/HeatherMalia.