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Portage girl trying for new pop tab record for second time

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PORTAGE, Wis. - For the second time in her life, a 6-year-old Portage girl is trying to beat the Guinness Book of World Records' number of most pop tabs collected.

The current record is about 2.8 million tabs.

"We're in for the long haul again," said Joseph Alves, the father of the Portage girl, Mercedes, who is spearheading the collection efforts.

This is Mercedes' second time attempting to beat the world record. The first time happened last year. Alves said they collected almost 4 tons of pop tabs, but when it came around to the final count, they couldn't get enough volunteers to help out.

"About 10 million tabs, a little over 10 million tabs," Alves said as he described the 4 tons. They would have needed at least 1,000 volunteers to count them all. They had 275.

Alves said he felt like he disappointed his daughter when they couldn't do a final count and, therefore, couldn't make it into the Guinness Book of World Records, but Mercedes wasn't discouraged.

"She woke up one morning and started saying she wanted to collect tabs. We said okay and we started collecting them," Alves said.

Mercedes and Alves originally began collecting the tabs to honor her late brother, Gunner, who died in a car wreck on Oct. 26, 2014. Mercedes had plans to donate the money collected from the recycled tabs to the Ronald McDonald house.

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