Quaker Valley, North Hills students find unique 'promposal' ideas

| Wednesday, April 30, 2014, 9:01 p.m.

Rob Veltre said he doesn't do anything unless there's at least an 85 percent chance for success.

So when he decided to ask longtime friend and fellow Quaker Valley High School senior Savannah Ressler to prom, he consulted with people close to her to see if they thought she'd say yes.

“I'm OK with taking risks, just not in this kind of circumstance,” he said.

After being given the green light, he and friend Luke Kropf — who is dating Savannah's twin, Ciara — concocted a plan for a joint “promposal.” That is, asking someone to prom in an elaborate way.

The popularity of promposals has increased and websites, Twitter accounts, Tumblr blogs, Pinterest boards and more offer ideas for — and photos and videos of — executed promposals. Some schools in the U.S. and Canada have banned promposals during school hours because they interfered with studies.

Veltre said he came up with the idea that he and Kropf would dress as Secret Service agents and have friend Parker Redcross — who does a spot-on impression of President Obama — ask the girls for them over the morning announcements. Then, they would burst into the girls' classroom with flowers in hand.

“I thought, ‘If we just go to their first-period classes dressed as Secret Service agents with flowers, we'd be golden',” Veltre said.

While she was surprised by the thought and effort Veltre put into the promposal, Ressler said she was relieved just to have a date to the May 16 prom at the Embassy Suites in Moon.

“Really, all girls think about is ‘who the heck am I going to go with?'” she said.

For some, even if they know who they are going with, a promposal is expected.

North Hills High School senior Jonathan Avon said he didn't understand why he had to ask his girlfriend, senior Ciara Barry, to go to prom with him, but he did anyway — from 1,500 miles away.

Avon, who was on a mission trip in Haiti in early April, decided to make a video of some children in an orphanage he was working in as they held up letters to spell the word “Prom?”

But since he had no Internet connection in Haiti, he had to wait until he landed in the U.S. to upload the video to Instagram and tag her in the post.

“It was really cute. I cried a little,” Barry said. “I hadn't talked to him in a week. It meant a lot.”

Though he said he felt pressure to come up with something big, Quaker Valley senior KJ Devlin said he simply wanted the girl he was asking to feel special.

“I want to make whoever I'm escorting feel as good and as taken care of as possible,” he said.

In late March, Devlin decided to ask friend Rebecca Lewis to be his date by serenading her in the hallway at school. He and other members of his barbershop quartet sang a song called “Darling, That Someone Is You.”

“It was very well-received. She was incredibly happy and excited, and probably relieved at the same time. So, yeah, it was good,” Devlin said.

North Hills senior Macy Sanguigni said she wanted to be asked to prom in a cute way, but that it wasn't necessary.

Her date, senior Nick Ross, asked her during the paper plate awards — awards students present to one other on paper plates — after this year's spring musical, which they were both a part of.

“I really like that he got my friends involved. It was personal and heartfelt,” she said.

North Hills senior David Haddad said he wasn't going to ask classmate Kara Hoffman to prom for another month, then heard she had a hair appointment at Ross Park Mall. where he works, at Auntie Anne's, and he asked her with pretzels he baked to spell out “prom?”

Hoffman was satisfied with the treat, she said, and will attend prom with Haddad on May 17 at Heinz Field.

Sebastian Gordon also had sweet treats in mind when he thought about asking Allie Perri to prom a few weeks ago.

Because it was his senior year at Quaker Valley, he wanted to do something “big and complex,” he said. He came up with a plan to secretly leave notes and gifts such as Starbucks and candy for Perri at each one of her classrooms throughout the day before revealing his identity after sixth period.

“I'm naturally a nervous person, so it made me so much more nervous than I (usually) am,” he said.

Veltre said he was nervous the day he asked Ressler to prom, but his competitive nature inspired him to set the bar high for other members of his graduating class. That, and he wanted to show Ressler his appreciation.

“If some girl is going to be stuck with me for an entire prom … I'm going to make her feel like a princess,” Veltre said.

Kristina Serafini is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-324-1405 or kserafini@tribweb.com.

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