Hot Diggity Dog!

It took around 700 bread rolls and sausages, bucketloads of goodwill and who knows how much in the way of sauce to make New Zealand’s longest hotdog in Te Awamutu on Monday.

The mammoth effort to build the 100-metre hotdog, suitably sauced up with tomato and mustard, was spearheaded by Te Awamutu Community Board member Jill Taylor.  She founded the local ‘Jenga’ youth group three years ago and is always on the lookout for fun ways to engage intermediate-aged youngsters.

Sampling the giant hotdog once the rush died down were Altrusa Club members Lyn Coutts and Jill Fraser.

Enjoying the tasty treat are Kearn Berge, Isaac March and Blake Haora.

Jill remembered the enjoyment she got from helping make a hotdog of around 30m when she was a teen and decided it wouldn’t be a bad idea to put Te Awamutu on the map by building its own record-breaking snack.

Starting at the top of the long hotdog with the sauce application, overseen by teacher Pou Collett.

“I looked it up and saw there were already a couple of world records for hotdogs … I think they were around 212m,” she said. “It seems nothing like this has been done in New Zealand before, so we thought ‘why not?’.  We didn’t want to go too big but wanted to set a starting record for New Zealand with the 100m length.”

Based on the ‘village to raise a child’ theory, Jill enlisted a small army of helpers. Local businesses were delighted to help.

“Mitre 10 provided us with the PVC guttering in which to build the hotdog, Pak ‘n Save donated the buns, sausages and the sauces, and ladies from the Te Awamutu Altrusa Club helped on the day,” Jill said as the event wound up, with almost all the hotdogs eaten and sauce slurped.  “It’s been a great success.”

Joining in for the record-breaking hotdog at Te Awamutu Intermediate on Monday are, from left, teacher Pou Collett, Te Awamutu Community Board member Jill Taylor, Mitre 10’s Andrew Donghi, Altusa Club members Lyn Coutts, Jill Fraser and Anne Poole, and the school’s deputy principal Sue Germann.

The long hotdog filled almost the entire 101m of whistle-clean guttering sprawled across the front lawn at Te Awamutu Intermediate School.

The weather gods seemed in favour, clearing the showers just long enough for the dog to be made and the 450 school students to sample their piece of the savoury snack.  Putting it together were teams of youngsters – most of them from Pau Collett’s classroom – and a handful of Jenga Club members who are in other classes.  Polishing it off were the rest of the students, coming in waves of rolling relays.

The school’s deputy principal Sue Germann said Te Awamutu Intermediate is a great supporter of the Jenga Club and was very keen to support the initiative.

Mitre 10’s Andrew Donghi was on hand to help with the guttering. “It’s all brand new.  We gave it a good clean just to make sure, then set it up here.  Once this is over, we will wash it all out and take it back to the store.  It’s great to see the kids doing things like this.”

The Altrusa Club ladies – who always supply the eats for the Jenga Club’s weekly gatherings – got stuck in as well, helping direct operations and then enjoying a snack of their own.

Jackson Seddon shows his skill at doing the sauce.

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