A Spin on Donations

By Erika Mahoney

December 11, 2012 Updated Dec 11, 2012 at 10:45 AM EDT

Vestal, NY (WBNG Binghamton) More than 700 people simultaneously spun dreidels at Binghamton University in an attempt to break a Guinness World Record.

The spin-off was the highlight of the biggest Chanukah celebration at B.U. this year.

With little room to move, students crowded in, shoulder to shoulder, to try and break the record.

"I could really feel that everybody was getting into it, getting into the Chanukah spirit," said sophomore Todd Spire. "And when everyone was spinning the dreidels, you could hear a pin drop because everyone wanted to break that world record."

The current record was set last year in Philadelphia when 732 people spun their dreidels.

Energy was high, with singing, dancing, and the lighting of a menorah.

But it was more than just fun and games. The purpose for the spin-off was to bring light to a three month toy drive for New York kids in need.

"Really, the main purpose of our Chanukah Bash, which we have every year without the dreidel competition, is to raise awareness for Chai Lifeline," said Lucy Schwartz, Chabad Center for Jewish Student Life. "It's a really amazing organization that, at this time of year, gives gifts to kids with cancer."

The Chanukah Bash has been celebrated for more than 25 years, and this year, organizers are breaking a personal record, raising more than $10,000 worth of toys.

"It is amazing to see hundreds and hundreds of kids coming out in support of sick children and doing all of this, I know they have given up a lot of time," said Melanie Kwestel, Chai Lifeline.

Since October, students have been balancing classes and working hard to raise awareness about the toy drive and the dreidel spin-off.

"It's a great accomplishment and it's a great way, most importantly, to take the holiday, which is a joyous time, and do something meaningful with it," said Rabbi Levi Slonim.

It will be a few days until the students will know whether they will make their mark in the Guinness Book. But they said no matter what, they are proud they can put smiles on kids' faces and put presents in their arms this holiday season.

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