Pop tabs for a good cause: A 5-year-old Wisconsin girl needs your help to honor her brother
PORTAGE, Wis. -- Surrounded by hundreds of thousands of Soda pop tabs, 5-year-old Mercedes Alves remembers why she collected so many.
"He played with me a lot," said Mercedes.
It's a way to honor her brother Gunner who died in a car accident in 2014. Mercedes was at the Ronald McDonald house when she got the news.
"Her and her brother were inseparable. They did everything together," said Joseph Alves, Mercedes father.
So she set a special goal -- Collect 6,280,014 to symbolize Gunner's birthday and the age he was when he died, all to be donated to the Ronald McDonald house.
Support begin pouring in and when the Alves house was filled with 40 bins of them, the local hotel agreed to store them.
Joseph Alves believes they have collected more than 6 million tabs which would set a new world record.
Now, Mercedes needs over 1,000 volunteers to count the tabs. The Portage Police Department is leading the counting party.
"We had hoped that we could just weigh all the pop tabs and found they had to be hand counted," said Lieutenant Keith Klafke with the City of Portage Police Department.
If they don't get enough volunteers, Mercedes' record may not get certified by Guinness. Her dad says seeing that number in the Guinness Book of World Records would keep Gunner's memory alive.
"Her whole goal was to make sure nobody had forgotten her brother and this was her way of honoring her brother."
The final count is on Saturday, March 24th at 8 a.m. Portage High School. They still need all the volunteers counting each one of these.
Updates are posted regularly on the Facebook page: Mercedes' Quest for the Ronald McDonald House.
If you're able to volunteer, you can sign up by clicking here.
Mercedes also has to pay $11,000 for a Guinness officiant. She is raising the money through GoFundMe.