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Philadelphia TV news station features Lehigh Valley prom couple
Horns beeped and passersby gave a thumbs-up Thursday as two local teens re-created a romantic prom invitation that has become a media sensation, for a Philadelphia television news crew.
Zach Heffelfinger and Adriana Nikles kissed and hugged for the TV camera outside Central Catholic High School in Allentown, riding a wave of media attention that has the young couple's heads spinning.
''It's exciting,'' 16-year-old Adriana said, as she waited to be interviewed by NBC 10 reporter Stacy Weaver. ''Everything has happened one thing after another.''
The Emmaus High School junior and the Central Catholic sophomore first made news Monday when Zach stood outside Central Catholic with two dozen roses and a giant handmade sign waiting to ask Adriana to the Emmaus junior prom.
''That 15 minutes felt like a lifetime,'' the young Romeo said. ''But when she said yes, I was on Cloud Nine.''
A Tuesday Morning Call story about the love-struck couple hit a chord and the teens have been inundated with calls from radio and television.
''I always imagined doing special things for a special girl,'' said Zach, 17. ''Now I found a special girl.''
Both students are a bit overwhelmed and can't quite believe their sudden celebrity.
Zach wanted to make a big romantic gesture for the prom, said Adriana's mother Melany Nikles, ''but he never expected it to be this big.''
In the NBC news segment, which aired Thursday night, the couple talked about how they first met and how the sudden fame has affected their lives. Melany Nikles, and Zach's father, Scott Heffelfinger, also were interviewed.
It's been a heady experience for a couple who has been dating for little over two months.
Zach said the two met at a teen dance at the Main Gate in Allentown and had their first date the day after Christmas.
''It just felt right,'' he said.
Zach who plays ice hockey, took Adriana to a Philadelphia Phantoms hockey game at the Spectrum in Philadelphia for their first date, and that experience seems to have set the stage for their relationship.
At the game, a clown pulled the pair out of the stands. He twisted a ring out of a balloon and made Zach kneel down and give it to Adriana in front of the entire crowd. So Adriana is getting used to being in the spotlight.
''He's full of surprises,'' she said of Zach.
They said they both enjoy trying to surprise each other, and Adriana has made Zach a DVD and cooked special dinners for him. On Valentine's Day, Zach bought 3,000 rose petals and used them to make a path to Adriana's room, which led to a heart formed out of Hershey kisses. He even rigged her computer to play ''their'' song, ''Love Story'' by Berks County native Taylor Swift.
Both have something special planned for each other for Easter. And Zach promises that there will be another special surprise for Adriana at the Emmaus prom on May 2.
''I'm not done yet, America,'' Zach said.
Adriana said she's ready for whatever Zach has up his sleeve.
''He's so nice to me,'' she said. ''He's everything you'd want in a guy.''
The teens also have had to weather the inevitable negative comments.
''I've been taking a lot of flak from the guys,'' Zach said. ''I guess I set the bar a little too high. But she said yes, she's hot and I'm going to the prom with her -- that's all that matters.''
The pair also was to be featured on B-104's Morning Show with Cramer and Kelly today. Zach was interviewed by Michael Smerconish Wednesday on The Big Talker radio show at WPHT 1210 AM in Philadelphia, and the couple have been approached by a national TV talk show host.