Chesterfield students hope to break world record, help stop breast cancer

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CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- Some Chesterfield high school students have launched a campaign to raise $20,000 for breast cancer research.

The campaign will use model rockets -- and they're looking to break a world record.

Sanzio Angeli

Sanzio Angeli

It all started when Sanzio Angeli and Dylan Whitesel were searching through You Tube videos when they stumbled upon a Guinness Book of Records attempt out of Texas. That group successfully launched 3,200 model rockets at one time.

Dylan Whitesel

Dylan Whitesel

After watching, Angeli and Whitesel came up with an idea to not only beat the Texas record holders, but make a lasting impression on the community as well.

"My mom is fighting breast cancer at this point," Whitesel said.

He and his best friend, Sanzio, knew 4,000 model rockets would cost about $5 apiece, so why not charge $10 and give the other $20,000 collected to the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

"I really want to give back to my community here in Virginia, especially to those who helped keep my mom alive through the past six years, so that's a big incentive for me" Whitesel said.


His mother appreciates the gesture.

"I'm just really proud that it has affected them this way, that they want to join my fight," Diane Whitesel said. "I really admire what they are doing. They're special guys."

Angeli said each rocket will reach about 200 feet before a parachute deploys, with the rocket floating back to the ground in 10 to 15 seconds.

What makes these rockets unique though, is Angeli said each one will have the name of a loved one or friend on the side of it, the name picked by those who buy the rocket.

While the effort is now overwhelming, since each rocket has to be assembled by hand, Angeli said they are still excited.

Dylan Whitesel

Sanzio Angeli and Dylan Whitesel

"How can you not be, I mean, we're building 4,000 rockets, breaking world record and raising a bunch of money for breast cancer," he said.

The pair, who have set Oct. 18 as rocket launch day, said the county fire marshal's office is working with them to find the perfect location.

Click here for more information about Rocket4TheCure. 

"Rocket4TheCure was created by Sanzio Anegli and Dylan Whitesel to raise money for breast cancer awareness. Our goal is to the break the Guiness World Record for the most model rockets launched simultaneously! Click here to sponsor a customized rocket "in memory of" or "in honor of" a loved who has battled a cancer/illness of any kind."


  • Blackbeered

    If people are going to spend $10 for a $5 rocket, why not donate the $5 and skip the rocket altogether? Or, if they feel compelled to part with $10,l donate $10.

    It’s the same way I feel about my kids’ “fund raising” efforts.

    I tell them, “The Cub Scouts want you to go door-to-door, begging people to buy $1 of popcorn for $11 so that your Troop can pocket $0.50?! Sounds like the only people getting rich here are the popcorn company. If I got this right, your “quota” is to sell 30 units. From the $330 you’d collect, that’s 15 bucks for your Troop. Here’s a check for $20 made payable to your Troop. You’re done. Tell your Troop leader you saved your neighbors from wasting $310 on crappy popcorn and preserved their goodwill.”

    • Debbie Salerno

      Donations of any kind are always appreciated by any non-profit organization, including Susan G. Komen. If you choose to donate directly, good for you! Sanzio and Dylan are not only providing a fun way to donate, however, but also raising awareness for the cause. The publicity for their cause will highlight the need of this wonderful non-profit organization and no doubt raise both money and awareness that will not show in their fundraising. Three cheers for these two innovative teens! Good luck!

      • Jon Hirsch

        And I love to tickle bottoms, Janet, but that has nothing to do with this cause. A great effort to raise awareness create some noise, and also support a great cause. Three of my immediate family members are survivors. I have, and will continue to support these young men in their awareness efforts.

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