Ron Mortanian

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Ron Mortanian's Class Makes Monster Sandwich to Go

FRESNO - Ron Mortanian's class made it big recently. A Subway sandwich, that is. In fact, so big, it is due to be listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest Subway sandwich in the United States - over 200 feet, according to organizers' records.

"I always like bigger, better and the first," says Mortanian, whose Reach for the Stars program, which benefits special needs students, organized the event at Fresno's Tehipite Middle School on Oct. 16. Mortanian is a Special Education Teacher. His Language Arts Program "Reach for the Stars" enables his students with writing skills.

The event brought out employees and owners from 18 Subway franchises to build the monster sandwich.The sandwich was sold in $5 sections with chips and soda. Part of the proceeds went to the Reach for the Stars program, the rest was distributed between departments at Tehipite for teachers' use. More than a dozen sandwich artists worked 25 minutes to create the sub, which included 204 feet of bread, 108 pounds of turkey, 120 pounds of roast beef, 72 pounds of hand and 72 pounds of lettuce and stretched on a table almost the full length of the grass field behind the school.

Moving away from the typical was important for organizers, who were tired of seeing t he standard fund-raising fare.

"It's book sales and candy sales, says Martin Viramontes, a Subway franchise owner and event organizers."We wanted to do something unique, so we thought, "Why not do this?'"

They brought in several local organizations for the event, including the Fresno County Sheriff's Department - that flew in their helicopter - and the Fresno Fire Department, which had a fire engine on display.

There was also music, dancing and more than 30 prizes given away. In all, more than 50 local organizations and businesses took part.

Also participating in a big way was actor Max Gail, famous for playing Detective Stan "Wojo" Wojciehowicz on the Barney Miller television show. Hands gloved in latex, a knife in one hand, and a loaf of bread in another, he asks: "Are we making this to go?"