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10,000 PB&Js in One Hour the Goal of Hotels' Charity Effort

By Serena Dai | April 2, 2014 7:31am
 Boutique hotel chain Broughton Hotels aims to make 10,000 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in an hour on Wednesday.
Boutique hotel chain Broughton Hotels aims to make 10,000 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in an hour on Wednesday.
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flickr/Jonathan Boeke

LAKEVIEW — Brompton Avenue will be lined with peanut butter, jelly and bread Wednesday afternoon as a boutique hotel chain aims to make 10,000 sandwiches for charity — in just an hour.

Employees of Broughton Hotels, the parent company of Lakeview hotels The Majestic, The Willows and City Suites, will line up on Brompton between Pine Grove Avenue and Lake Shore Drive from 3-4 p.m. in hopes of meeting the goal.

Already, the hotels donate sandwiches each month, but Wednesday's effort in celebration of National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day marks the company's biggest goal yet.

"When we realized it was National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day, we had to celebrate," said Courtney Willingham, sales coordinator for the Chicago hotels.

The 50-some employees from three hotels won't be slapping peanut butter on bread alone. Volunteers from local businesses and local chambers of commerce will be pitching in to meet the goal, bringing the number of volunteers to more than 100, Willingham said.

They figured that if each person could make 100 sandwiches in the assembly line, they could get to 10,000 in an hour, she said.

The goal beyond donating to shelters across the city? Break a world record for number of PB&J's made in an hour.

In 2012, about 90 students from the University of California Riverside engineering fraternity Theta Tau beat the Guinness World Record of 1,500 sandwiches in an hour by making 1,686 in 43 minutes, according to local news reports at the time.

Broughton officials didn't have time to contact Guinness about officially breaking the record, but they want to surpass it, anyway.

"We know ourselves that we’re breaking a record," Willingham said. "It’s all about giving back to the community and serving those who bring justice all the time."

Sandwiches will be donated to several Chicago area shelters, meal programs, churches and food pantries across the city, including St. Jerome's Ministry, Chicago Lights and the Pacific Garden Mission.

Volunteers interested in helping the effort may still join in at the event in front of Majestic Hotel, 528 W. Brompton Ave.

"Bring one, bring all," Willingham said. "The more hands, the better."