Priceless Prom Winners

Priceless Prom WinnersCongratz to the winners! You can help decide what they’ll wear to Prom by logging on and voting. Hope they have a wonderful time!

How the win helps: The time together is great, they say, but a paid-for prom has a real shot at perfection. Both teens work to pay for cell phones, cars, insurance and gas. Last year, Paul, 18, had to borrow money from his parents to cover prom costs, and he used his job at Pizza Hut in Winchester to pay them back. This year, Amber, 17, planned to wear an old pageant dress instead of buying a new one with her pay from her new job as a hostess at b.d.’s Mongolian Grill.

Read the article:

Winning couple value their time together and the free ride
By Jamie Gumbrecht
HERALD-LEADER CULTURE WRITER

Tates Creek High School students Paul Walraven and Amber McKinley are the winners of the Lexington Herald-Leader’s Priceless Prom contest.

To make their prom night as fabulous as possible, she’ll receive a dress from Dillard’s, hairstyling by Ziyan Salon and accessories from Nitro in Frankfort; he’ll get a tuxedo rental from Geno’s Formal Affair; and they’ll go to dinner at Giuseppe’s, and get flowers from Bel Air Florist and Gift Shop in Versailles, prom tickets and a Seventeen Magazine prom planning guide. (And mama McKinley will pitch in a limo, too.)

This monarchy is subject to a democratic process, though: Kentucky.com readers will vote for the dress, tux, hairstyle, flowers and accessories for the couple. Voting starts next Tuesday with three choices of dresses, which you can see online and in the Health & Family section.

  • Why they’re royalty: As a stroke of chivalry, or maybe monetary desperation, Paul entered the contest, listing the reasons they deserved to be prom royalty: They’re short on time and cash, but big on love, a situation many teens recognize.

    “Because of our busy schedules, our time together is extremely limited,” Paul wrote, “but the time we do spend together is priceless, even if it is just watching a movie with her parents or listening to music … there would be nothing better than going to prom in style and having a night we would never forget.”

  • How the win helps: The time together is great, they say, but a paid-for prom has a real shot at perfection. Both teens work to pay for cell phones, cars, insurance and gas. Last year, Paul, 18, had to borrow money from his parents to cover prom costs, and he used his job at Pizza Hut in Winchester to pay them back. This year, Amber, 17, planned to wear an old pageant dress instead of buying a new one with her pay from her new job as a hostess at b.d.’s Mongolian Grill.
  • How they met: The couple met in May 2005, when her best friend was dating his best friend. They went to a fair together, and the first impressions were good. (In fact, Amber knew a girl who’d dated Paul — “Everything I’d heard about him was good,” she says.)

    They hung out more, and by the next month, they were a couple. For the record, she was the first one to say, “I love you.”

  • What they fight about: “Time,” they say, in unison. Before sports took over their lives, before work became a necessity, they used to be together constantly. Now with Paul nearing graduation and Amber occupied with work, school and sports, there’s rarely a spare moment.
  • His hometown: “Everywhere,” he says. His family moved often, finally settling in Lexington when he was a sophomore.
  • Her hometown: Right here in Lexington. “I’ve lived in the same house since I was born,” she says.
  • His ideal prom: “Just a good time — I’m not picky.”
  • Her ideal prom: “Romantic, starry sky-type, really pretty.”
  • His sport: He played soccer for Tates Creek.
  • Her sport: She spent most of her life dancing, but now she plays volleyball for Tates Creek and a club team.
  • His plans: Paul is waiting to hear whether he was accepted to the University of Kentucky, but he’s also looking at Georgetown College, Eastern Kentucky University and Kentucky Wesleyan College. He wants to study business management.
  • Her plans: Amber has another year of high school, but she’s already trying to score a volleyball scholarship. “I’ll follow wherever that scholarship goes,” she says.

    Reach Jamie Gumbrecht at (859) 231-3238 or 1-800-950-6397, Ext. 3238, or jgumbrecht@herald-leader.com.

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