On Saturday, Sept. 26, Mercy officials, sponsors and other volunteers will try to create the world's largest cup of tea, with official authentication by Guinness World Records, the universally recognized authority on record-breaking achievements.
The Celebration Cup event will include a community picnic from 4 to 8 p.m. on the grounds of Mercy Health Center, 401 Woodland Hills Blvd., just east of the visitor parking lot. The event will also serve as the observation of Mercy Day, which is celebrated annually in September by the Sisters of Mercy to commemorate the opening of the first House of Mercy in Dublin, Ireland, in 1827, a Mercy statement said.
The highlight of the event will be the unveiling of a 700-gallon teacup filled with enough tea for about 15,000 servings. Mercy officials said the teacup has long been recognized as a symbol of hospitality in the Sisters of Mercy heritage and harkens back to a story of Mercy foundress Catherine McAuley, who on her deathbed, implored her caretakers to "see that the Sisters have a comfortable cup of tea when I am gone."
"The vision for the Celebration Cup stems from the annual Mercy Day Celebration which rejuvenates the 'Mercy Spirit' and rekindles the service standards for which Mercy coworkers are known for," MHSK President and CEO John Woodrich said. "However, this year we invited the entire community to enjoy this celebration and share in the local Mercy hospitality."
Picnic guests will be able to enjoy all-you-can-eat hamburgers, hot dogs, sides and a beverage at a cost of $5 for adults and $3 for children. All proceeds from the Celebration Cup event will benefit the Mercy Health Center Cancer Center expansion project.
Mercy Director of Nutritional Services J.D. Webster, the organizer of the teacup event, has engaged a wide variety of sponsors, volunteers and media outlets to participate in the celebration.
"Local businesses have made significant contributions to the event by supporting the cost of food, picnic supplies and even the materials to construct the giant teacup," Webster said. "The teacup alone will be quite a sight. I have been in contact with the folks from Guinness World Records. It is my goal to build a cup of tea that will overshadow any others previously recorded."
In addition to the picnic and teacup unveiling, additional activities are planned, including large inflatable attractions for kids and information presentations related to Mercy's heritage and the cancer center expansion project.
A large crowd is expected for the event, so organizers are planning to make wristbands available for purchase prior to the event. Wristbands may be purchased at Mercy Health for Life on the lower level of Mercy Health Center or by contacting Mercy spokeswoman Tina Rockhold at (620) 223-7073. Wristbands will also be available at the event, the Mercy statement said.