Several hundred East Texans are expected to gather Sunday to try to set the Guinness World Record for the most people rolling egg rolls simultaneously.
But the goal is only part of the story. The event and the egg rolls sold through it are part of a fundraiser for Ross Sajo and her family.
“The event is really all about charity and helping this family,” Ed Santos, one of the coordinators, said.
Mrs. Sajo, 43, a mother of three, was diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer four years ago.
Since that time, her mother has died, her father had a stroke and her husband, Jojo Sajo, 42, suffered three aneurysms.
The Sajos have three children, ages 10, 8, and 4, including one child with special needs. They live in Houston, but Mrs. Sajo formerly lived in Tyler.
“We were thinking in our own way, we wanted to give her a miracle, gathering a lot of support, dedicating this fundraising project for her, for everyone to be aware that this kind of illness really affects a lot of people,” Monina Mercado, Mrs. Sajo's sister-in-law, said.
The idea for this record-setting event came out of a fundraiser the community already was doing.
Local Filipinos have been making lumpia, a Filipino-style egg roll, and selling it by the dozen to raise money for the Sajo family.
The Potpourri House, owned by Les and Carol Ellsworth, opened its doors for several days to the Filipino community allowing them to use a portion of the kitchen to make lumpia.
However, a record already existed in this category and the process to make the longest egg roll would have required a lot of time and tools.
So after talking with Guinness World Records representatives, Llave said they came up with a new category. It is the most egg rolls rolled simultaneously.
Llave said they have surpassed their expectations in terms of registered participants and are in line to break the record.
Eight people will monitor the process with others taking video and photos.
The group will submit statements, video and photos to Guinness World Records and the organization should respond and send a certificate back within three weeks, Llave said.
The goal is to eventually create a program with advertisements to commemorate the event and raise more money. About $8,000 has been raised so far through all the group's efforts.
“I think one of the interesting human aspects of the event is that it's really brought together the Filipino community,” Llave said, adding that it's helped rekindle friendships among people who had lost touch.
Ms. Mercado said the Sajo family is planning to come to the event. She said Mrs. Sajo wants to thank everyone for their work on her behalf.
For more information about the event or to order pork lumpia for $10 per dozen, email TeamRossTyler@gmail.com.