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Prom dress -- not a sticky situation

By Miriam G. Mazliach

July 5, 2011

Searching for the perfect prom dress has often driven most moms and their daughters to distraction, in the arduous process of looking for the perfect fit. But thanks to a clever promotion by Duck Tape® brand, Chelsey Sue of Newark was able to resolve that “sticky” situation, by replacing fabric with duct tape.

Chelsey was a senior this year and home-schooled through Fremont Christian School, when she and her mother, Andrea Sue, began looking into scholarships to help pay for college. “My mom actually first saw the contest on a scholarship website and showed it to me as a joke. I thought it would be an awesome way to be creative and possibly earn money for college,” said Chelsey. Mrs. Sue added, “My daughter is very creative; she’s a singer and an artist and this was something she wanted to do.”

To enter the Duck Tape® brand duct tape “Stuck at Prom® Scholarship Contest”, interested entrants and their required partner, had to submit an application between March 7 and June 13. For a chance to win scholarship money, participants then needed to utilize duct tape to create original and unique prom outfits and accessories. Prom couples completed the process by submitting a photograph after attending their respective prom events.

On June 17, Duck Tape® brand announced the top 10 contest finalists. Now it is up to the public to pick their favorite “Stuck at Prom” couple. Visit www.stuckatprom.com and vote by the July 11 deadline. Winners will be announced on the website on or about July 13.

Each member of the first place winning prom couple will receive $5,000. Second place finishers receive $3,000 each and the third place couple earns $2,000 apiece. The remaining seven couples will each be awarded $500 per person. In addition, the school that hosted a winning couples’ prom will receive the same prize amount.

“This is the 11th year of the competition and in total more than $150,000 in scholarship money has been given out,” says Teresa DeJohn, a representative of Duck® brand.

Chelsey’s “duct taped” prom partner was Alexander Rohwedder, who also attended the same homeschool program as Chelsey and just completed his junior year. Designing and constructing the prom outfits was extremely labor intensive for the duo and they spent over 400 hours creating the galaxy-themed attire, which included nearly a thousand hand-cut stars.

“I started with a basic idea of a star theme and sketched out a basic design; I developed it and even made changes while in the middle of making the dress,” explains Chelsey. “I showed Alex a basic design and we worked together and made huge changes to it, so it was a team effort.”

In all, the team used 40 rolls of duct tape. Part of the preparation was laying out large cuts of cotton cloth and covering them with strips of duct tape. “There were a few other instances where other materials were used, such as our shoes and wire in the corsage and boutonniere, but we used only duct tape whenever possible,” Chelsey adds.

Most of the students attending the prom at Sunol Valley Golf Club, knew that the couple would be wearing duct tape outfits. Chelsey says, “They were just excited to see it, since I hadn’t revealed the design. They all loved it, and we both got tons of compliments.”

Throughout the whole process, Chelsey kept a blog about the experience. The URL is myducttapedress.blogspot.com. She also has a Facebook page called “Chelsey and Alexander for Stuck at Prom Duck Tape Scholarship Contest.”

Chelsey and Alexander would be appreciative of the community’s support to help them win scholarship funds from this competition. To do so, cast your vote by July 11 at www.stuckatprom.com.


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