More than 36 hours into his attempt to break the Guinness World Record for longest public, Ian Hill was showing signs of fatigue. But, still, he pressed on.
“I think it’s very cool he’s doing this for us,” said Karalee Ward, 9. “He’s trying to show us anything can happen.”
Karalee is one of about 80 girls in the CPAC soccer program, founded by Hill, who has been invited to an international soccer tournament in Canada. The world record attempt is a fundraiser to get the girls there.
They were invited to the Presidents Invitational Cup in Stony Plain, Alberta, Canada, — just outside of Edmonton, where the FIFA Women’s World Cup will be taking place at the same time.
Hill set the goal of raising $25,000 during the speech of the $90,000 necessary.
Karalee was hopeful he would be successful.
“I really want to go,” she said. “It’s a life experience. I want to see if everything really can happen.”
Not only will they need money, Hill said, they are also working with immigration attorneys to make arrangements for the girls on the team who are not documented to cross the border out of and back into the United States.
“From no fault of their own, they could be precluded from a life-changing experience,” he said.
The soccer program, based in a traditionally Hispanic neighborhood, draws players from across town. While a competitive program, Hill said, the emphasis is on developing character.
Carson City Supervisor Brad Bonkowski donated $480 Friday afternoon.
“Since I was elected, I’ve been trying to reach out to the Hispanic community,” Bonkowski said. “I’ve been volunteering with Ian, and he’s awesome with the kids. I want to support the kids as much as I can.”
Hill was still short about $6,000 of his goal by Friday evening.
“If we don’t raise enough money, our lives aren’t going to be as amazing as we thought they would be,” said Lucy Sandoval, 9. “Our dreams won’t be as close to being accomplished.”
In her second season of playing with CPAC, she said she’s learned a lot about Coach Hill’s character.
“At first, I thought he was some crazy guy,” she said. “But he’s not just some crazy guy. He’s a crazy guy who loves us.”