updated 7/12/2008 4:40:32 PM ET 2008-07-12T20:40:32

Hundreds of volunteers have proven pennies really can go a long way. Miles, in fact.

Three days after the first coin was placed on the ground Tuesday evening, the group had assembled a 40-mile-long chain of pennies Friday night in the parking lot of Fort Scott Middle School.

"This is pretty awesome," said volunteer Diana Mitchell.

It's the longest line of pennies ever assembled, eclipsing the old mark by more than five miles, according to an official from the Guinness Book of World Records. The previous record was 34.57 miles, set in Malaysia in 1995.

"They set the record for the longest line of coins and the whole community came together," said Kaoru Ishikawa, a Guinness record manager. "It's been quite a moving time."

It was the second record set in this town just west of the Missouri line. On Thursday night, volunteers and members of the Fort Scott Youth Activities Team put down a mile of pennies in a time of 2:23.01 — just 74 seconds faster than the previous record of 2:24.15, set in February by teachers and pupils in Rickmansworth, United Kingdom, Ishikawa said.

The penny program was part of an effort to raise money for improvements at Fort Scott's Ellis Park. The $33,790 raised will go toward $4 million in projects planned for the park.

"It is so wonderful to be part of a community that believes in something and comes out to lay coins," Mitchell said. "So many people said they just came out to look, but they ended up helping out."

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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