Prom night a sticky affair for Lenape pair

| Friday, May 2, 2014, 11:37 p.m.

If colorful duct tape had been available to Scarlett O'Hara — the fictitious heroine from “Gone with the Wind” — she could have left the curtains alone and created a gown to wow the audience.

Shannon Stirling, 18, of North Buffalo hopes to make her own impression at prom Saturday while wearing a Gone with the Wind-themed ball gown made entirely out of duct tape, alongside her date, Clayton Cacurak.

Cacurak, 17, of Manor will be wearing a tuxedo made from the tape in white and teal, with red accents, to match.

The couple is participating in the Duck Tape Brand “Stuck at Prom” scholarship contest and must wear the homemade outfits for the duration of the Lenape Technical School prom.

Shannon said she likes the way the formal wear turned out and is looking forward to the Lenape Technical School prom in Ford City's 10th Street Station. And just to kick the excitement factor up a notch, a television crew from CBS is expected to show up for the grand march at around 4:30 p.m. to feature the couple in the network's Sunday Morning show.

“I'm excited. It's a once in a lifetime thing,” she said.

Together — and with the help of some friends and family members — the couple has made duct tape embellishments of ruffles, tassels and roses for a duct tape parasol, purse, earrings, and shoes. A duct tape feather decorates Clayton's duct tape hat. Even Shannon's nails will be covered in teal tape with white tips. They plan to wear duct tape masks to go with the prom's masquerade theme.

Shannon, whose right leg is in a cast because of a recent ankle surgery, decorated her crutches to match her cast.

She decided to create her prom dress using such nontraditional material after reading about the contest in a magazine. She managed to persuade Clayton to go along with it.

“At first I was a little leery,” he said. “But after I thought about it — how many people can say they wore duct tape to prom? And I would do anything for Shannon.”

It took close to 300 hours and 45 rolls of tape — with the help of a handful of family and friends — to complete the gown, tuxedo and accessories. The cost of tape amounted to about $200.

The contest, which started in 2001, is offering more than $50,000 in scholarships to high school students in the U.S. and Canada this year. The top prize is a $10,000 college scholarship per person for the winning couple.

Shannon, who is a senior and the daughter of Tonilynne and Scott Stirling, is planning to study biochemistry at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Clayton is a junior and the son of Hank and Tammy Cacurak. He is planning to study business and education after graduating from Lenape Technical School next year.

“We select 10 finalists in the couples category – then we let the public vote,” said Ami DeWille, corporate trend and senior Manager with Duck Tape at Shurtech Brands.

Shannon said that making the outfits was a lot of fun for her and her date, but she also has her eye on the prize.

“It would be awesome to win,” Shannon said.

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