Prom sticks in minds
By DIANE GASPER-O'BRIEN
It was an idea Breanne Kruse came up with two years ago while making a 4-H project out of duct tape.
While her mom was skeptical about the notion at first, Kruse stuck to her intentions of someday making a prom dress out of the sticky stuff.
It was easy to talk two of her friends into helping with the project.
So crowning two kings -- two seniors tied for first in voting for prom king -- wasn't the only unique happening at Saturday's Hays High School prom.
Kruse walked into the Ballroom in Fort Hays State University's Memorial Union escorted by senior Hayden Schnuerle, and both were trying their best to look as normal as possible.
It's a little tough, they learned in a hurry, to walk at a natural gait while wearing stiff clothing made of duct tape. But they were determined to make it work.
After all, Kruse and Schnuerle, good friends since their days in the Buckeye Junior Farmers 4-H Club, hadn't spent 70-plus hours working on their outfits for nothing.
The duo, with the help of senior Jackie Carmichael, was showcasing a project they are entering in the Stuck at Prom scholarship contest sponsored by the Duck brand of duct tape.
They took pictures beforehand to send in to the online contest, which requires 70 percent of the outfits be made out of duct tape.
But the most fun, Kruse and Schnuerle agreed, was seeing the reaction from their peers.
"There were lots of people waiting to see it," Schnuerle said of the outfits. "Even afterwards, we were at IHOP, and people were asking me about it."
Kruse said "some people didn't even know" their outfits weren't the traditional prom dress and tuxedo.
Kay Kruse said her daughter brought up the idea her freshman year and was adamant about trying the project. They thought her junior year would be a good time to do so.
So with the help of Kay Kruse's sister, Deb Schmeidler, they made a pattern for a dress and cut the dress out of a bed sheet.
Breanne Kruse measured the dress, as well as Schnuerle's pants, coat and vest, then ordered 10 rolls of tape in bulk from Walmart to make sure they had enough tape from the same lot of colors.
They used seven colors to cover the dress, pants and coat, then made Schnuerle's vest and bow tie totally out of duct tape.
Their shoes were encased in duct tape with feathers to match Kruse's dress, and the lapels and collar on Schnuerle's suit coat were striped in three different colors.
Even Kruse's wrist corsage and Schnuerle's boutonniere were made out of duct tape.
"We have every color of duct tape imaginable," Kay Kruse said. "Well, not every color, but a lot of them."
They know it's a long shot to win the scholarship contest, from which the winners receive $5,000. A gallery of entries to the contest can be found at duckbrand.com/promotions/stuck-at-prom.
But Kruse and Schnuerle said they plan to enter their outfits in this summer's Ellis County Fair.
"I might do a few touch-ups first," Schnuerle said, "because there are a few places looking a little rough."
Kruse also said she had some adjustments to make on her dress before it was fair-project worthy.
But, they all agreed, they might put the outfits away for a while before preparing them for the fair, which is in mid-July.
"They had fun working on it, and they had fun at prom," Kay Kruse said. "But I think we're all tired of duct tape."