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The Dublin community came together this Independence Day not to just celebrate the holiday, but to support a certain program within the school district.

The idea behind the fundraising effort all started as a practical joke.

This past school year, a couple friends from Dublin Jerome High School had an idea.

“Zip tying people’s backpacks shut – I went out that night and bought 500 zip ties and started spreading them around the school, the two of us together,” said Hudson Ozello, a senior.

The prank quickly got out of control, and the principal threatened to suspend the pranksters.

But instead, Ozello, a 4.0-student, came up with a different idea.

He thought about linking as many zip ties as possible to set a world record. He contacted Guinness World Records.

“They told us we needed 5,000 zip ties in one chain in order to set a Guinness World Record,” he said.

The students did more than that. They ended up with 10,979 zip ties.

If stretched out, the chain would be nearly as long as two football fields. Local hardware stores donated all the zip ties, and Ozello, his friends and family sold them. All the proceeds went toward free and reduced lunch programs. It’s a program that Ozello volunteers for.

“We go over there after school and we pack the food, so I thought about doing it for a charity. I thought this would be the best one to do since it was all local and I’m already involved in it,” he said.

Those who helped create the chain said they couldn’t believe how Dublin came together for one cause.

“I expected people to buy, I was a little bit surprised at how many, like, people would just come up and were like, ‘Here. Here’s $4.’ And we’re like, ‘Thank you so much,'” said Keegan Graham, a senior.

What will they do with all the zip ties?

“People have suggested using them as pranks, tying someone’s house up when they’re gone, or leaving them somewhere,” Ozello said.

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