Feeling down? High five! Thursday is National High Five Day

By Sam Butterfield


If bewildering workloads and ongoing grey weather have you down, cheer up: Thursday is National High Five Day!

The San Francisco-based National High Five Project announced Monday that it will be sponsoring the tenth-annual National High Five Day Thursday, April 21 at high-five-facilitating locations everywhere, like in your classroom, the office, your dorm room, on the many paths littering campus, in Amherst center, and elsewhere. Anywhere is a suitable spot for high-fiving.

Beyond mere outward displays of friendship and positivity, the High Five Project is getting serious, marking its tenth anniversary by attempting to set 10 high five-based world records, including petitioning the United Nations for recognition and inaugurating a National High Five Day scholarship, according to National High Five Project spokesman Greg Harrell-Edge.

“To set our 10 high-five related world records, we’re working with the Universal Records Database, which helps to verify and track goofy records,” said 29-year-old Harrell-Edge, a San Francisco resident and co-founder of the project in the release.

The organizers of the project appear poised to meet their mark. They have already set world records for most high-fives during a successful half court basketball shot, highest high-five, shortest high-five and most half-court basketball shots missed consecutively while attempting to set a high-five world record, according to Monday’s release.

Since its informal origins, the National High Five Project has grown by volumes. Thirty-three individuals have signed a TakingitGlobal.org online petition calling on UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon to officially recognize what would become International High Five Day.

“We, the citizens of the world, cry out in unison from every corner of the globe, our voices striking a perfect harmony with one simple demand: we call upon the United Nations to officially recognize Inter-National High Five Day,” write the authors of the petition. “For too long we have been divided by our differences and forced to firmly grasp the hands of those who oppress us. This archaic gesture has roots in warfare, not jubilation.”

“We’re delighted that many tens of people are signing a petition to the United Nations Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon, pleading with him to recognize National High Five Day,” said co-founder Conor Lastowka, 29, of San Diego in the release.

According to the release, the accomplishment the Project’s founders are most proud of is the establishment of a National High Five Day Scholarship Fund, which they set up by incorporating as a 501c(3) non-profit organization last July, according to the group’s website, www.nationalhighfiveproject.org. The Project’s Board of Directors will judge an essay contest to determine the first winner this summer, with proceeds from National High Five Day funding the award. To help fundraise, the release explains, NHFP’s directors are sponsoring a drive on their website where would-be benefactors can donate $20 or more and have a message of their choice displayed on the project’s site and receive a thank you phone call from one of the NHFP’s directors.

“Despite all of that good work, we still intend to cap off the holiday by eating way too much cake, having a crazy sugar high, and staying up past our 10 p.m. bedtime,” Harrell-Edge said in the release.

Sam Butterfield can be reached at [email protected]