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Timber Pines residents line up to capture cart record

(ran PC edition of Pasco Times)

Move over, Sun City Center, your world's longest golf cart parade title is in jeopardy. And it's not just from the upstarts at Sandy Pines RV Resort in Hopkins, Mich., who claim they drew 404 golf carts for their parade last August.

Residents of Timber Pines, an adult community built around golfing, plan to upset the golf cart hierarchy.

Organizer Lou Beneduce is signing up participants for a 2 p.m. parade March 15 from the Timber Pines community center parking lot to the community lodge. As of Thursday, Beneduce had signed up 247 cart owners to participate.

"They're coming in every day," Beneduce said. "There are representatives of the villages who are getting names and they'll submit them to me," he added. Those numbers are not yet recorded, he said.

"We've got over 3,000 units and a good percentage have golf carts," Beneduce said.

Added Bob Cristosi, an associate for the community's golf courses, "I would say, for every house, there's a golf cart."

The clubhouse owns "a few" carts and those will be available as well for the parade, Cristosi noted.

"We have tried to gather more than the 306 that Sun City did, but now we'll go for the 404 or whatever (Sandy Pines) did," Beneduce said after the Michigan claim became known earlier this month.

Beneduce has advertised for parade participants within the gated community via its newsletter, posters at the lodge and fliers to residents.

"We should have more than enough," he said optimistically. "They're really getting into it now," he said, adding, "We've got the (Guinness) forms and we're ready to go."

While Sun City Center parade organizers were after record numbers, the Michigan RV grounds maintained they just wanted to give cart owners a good time, urging them to decorate their vehicles on a "Christmas in August" theme.

Beneduce suggests that the Timber Pines event will focus around both the world record and a theme _ St. Patrick's Day.

"If they want to decorate, they can," he said. "If they want to decorate themselves, they can."

Since it's election year, he is urging politicians to ride in the parade. And he is also inviting the local media to be on hand to help authenticate the world record.

"It'll be just a fun day to get into the Guinness record book," Beneduce said.

Sun City Center holds the title for the World's Longest Golf Cart Parade, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. The Tampa-area community earned the honor when it strung together 306 run-abouts in a Dec. 5 parade. Last month's record event eclipsed Sun City Center's earlier record of 191 carts set in 2002.

Although the parade in Hopkins, Mich., reportedly attracted more than 400 golf carts last August, on Jan. 9 Guinness informed Sun City Center it still owns the record. Why is unclear. Applicants for Guinness records must certify their accomplishments with documents and/or videos.

Beneduce doesn't expect Timber Pines to have any verification problems. Still world records aren't engraved in indelible ink.

Organizers of Sun City Center's parade hope to get as many as 1,500 of the park's 2,900 carts to participate in the Aug. 14 parade.

_ Information from the Times files was used in this story.

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