On the afternoon of Oct. 4, the energetic residents and staff of Amber Park Assisted Living Center in Pickerington mobilized to create a monumental work of sandwich artistry.
They were challenged to construct a gigantic hoagie sandwich of monstrous proportions that would far outweigh that of its rival and sister facility, Winterberry Heights of Bangor, Maine, after Winterberry recently built a 55- foot hoagie.
The Amber Park team responded to the challenge and proceeded to assemble a 122-foot hoagie sandwich that weighed in at a whopping 178 pounds, far surpassing their East Coast counterparts.
The construction project, held in the main dining hall, took the Amber Park team an hour and a half from start to finish.
"(Residents) had to wash their hands and put their gloves on. We started at three and by four-thirty we were finished," said Kathy Dulin, activities director at Amber Park, who added that the Ohio contingent drew upon its collective experience as seasoned football fanatics to go the distance.
"During the fall, we all know it's football season," Dulin said.
"Football means tailgate and here in Columbus, Ohio, we know how to do it right.
"So, when we heard about the hoagie challenge, we knew Ohio State fans could do better," she said.
As testament to Amber Park's devotion to the Buckeyes, the hoagie was aptly formed in the shape of the traditional block "O" that symbolizes Ohio State University.
"We're huge Ohio State fans here at Amber Park," she said.
Jennifer Davis, administrator at Amber Park, said the event was an opportunity to have some fun while supporting the home team.
"There are a lot of misconceptions that older people don't have fun," Davis said.
"We have a lot of fun here and it was a chance for us to cut loose and do something silly," she said.
"We're big Buckeye fans here and we're always watching the games," Davis said.
Dulin said there was no skimping on ingredients for the sandwich.
It included "40 pounds of ham, 40 pounds of roasted turkey, 12 pounds of salami, 14 pounds of provolone cheese, a case of shredded lettuce, 72 tomatoes, a gallon of Italian dressing, a gallon of banana peppers, and 10 pounds of onions."
"Our chefs baked the bread from scratch and the ham and turkey were cooked and sliced in our kitchen," Dulin said.
She said the gigantic sub ended up making about 224 six-inch subs, enough to feed the residents and staff for the evening meal, with left-overs donated to the Pickerington Police Department and the Violet Township Fire Department.
Dulin said Roth Produce, Select Home Care, Smith's Farm Market, Discount Drug Mart and the Kroger Co. all donated items for the event.