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First-time ADDY attendee thrilled to dress up (Video)

By Camille Doty
Feb. 17, 2012 at 9:05 p.m.
Updated Feb. 18, 2012 at 8:19 p.m.


Musicians may have celebrated the Grammys, but Crossroads residents showed everything is bigger in Texas.

Guests were treated like celebrities with flashing lights, plush red carpet and velvet ropes. Some were even chauffered in a limousine.

The 2012 ADDY Awards Gala was the first of its kind at the Spring Creek Place Event Center.

Before the show, participants filled the stores and salons to find that perfect look. Half of the experience is getting prepared, they said.

Chelsea Harjes didn't have much time to feel nervous or excited about the event. Her fiancée, Chris Soule, told her about the festivities on Wednesday. His father's company, Compadres Ink, was nominated for its advertising work with Victoria College.

The 21-year-old Victoria College student did her research on the Internet to see what to wear.

"They were less dressed up on Google than they are here," she said.

Harjes said she was delighted to trade in her khakis and tennis shoes for a black goddess dress and high heels.

About 250 guests attended the American Advertising Federation-Victoria gala. The nonprofit group tries to recognize talent in sales, marketing, and design.

Dallas judges decided the fate of the 107 entries.

Friday's show was the first of a three-tier national competition. Local entrants try to win in their markets and later compete in the districts. Winners of the districts have an opportunity to enter the national competition.

Stacy Snapp Killian and Joe Anthony Pena, local hair stylists, began the award show singing George Strait's iconic song, "All My Exes Live in Texas."

Someone in the crowd had to tell the excited hosts that they were not at a musical award show.

There were wardrobe changes, rocking music, and acceptance speeches.

One of the winners, Kelly Henke with VCS Companies, began to cry on stage.

She received an Award of Excellence. Her family started the company more than 20 years ago.

Henke described herself as a behind the scenes person who is blessed to work with her family.

"My dad had the vision, my mom made it happen," she said.

ADDY Awards Chair Vern Crockett said seeing the event come together was surreal. For months AAF worked to put together the details. Crockett was a little nervous through the night, but said she would relax after the show.

"Once I see Clay (Crockett) on the stage, I'll be fine," Vern Crockett said about her husband, who along with his band was the live entertainment after the show.

Harjes, who said she was excited to dress up, later said her favorite part of the evening was seeing her fiancee win an award with Victoria College.

"We need more events like this in Victoria," she said.

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