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Local teachers win gr8 d8 for wedding in Hamptons
They planned to have a simple wedding.
There would be 60 guests on the beach with a reception at her mother's house. Nothing special.
On two kindergarten teachers' salaries, it was all they could afford.
But when Vikki Capparelli entered a contest, the modest affair turned into a fairy tale.
Capparelli, 28, and Michael Bonick, 38, teachers at Poinciana Elementary School in Boynton Beach, won a $50,000 wedding in a multimillion-dollar estate in the Hamptons in New York, thanks to a national contest sponsored by Eight O'Clock Coffee. The wedding will be held Aug. 8: 8/8/08.
The couple announced their win Friday morning on the Poinciana News Network, the school's daily video announcement system, in front of about 30 of their cheering students.
"You all did awesome on the FCAT," Bonick told his students in a room filled with white balloons and flowers. "You believed in yourself, so I believed in myself."
Bonick, known for keeping his guitar attached, led the students on camera in singing You Are My Sunshine, the song he sang on the school's news system in September when he proposed.
The couple's winning entry was a "lesson plan" essay centered on the number eight, and a photo of the students holding signs spelling "Our teachers deserve a gr8 wedding d8."
"Their entry definitely brought tears to my eyes," said Alisa Jacoby, senior brand manager for Eight O'Clock Coffee and a contest judge.
More than 900 couples entered the New Jersey-based coffee company's contest, which started April 1. The company booked the Rachael Ray Show's Evette Rios to design a wedding for 100 guests.
"So many people these days have trouble affording a wedding," Jacoby said.
Capparelli and Bonick would have been satisfied with a simple wedding, but the couple and their family members were all banking on a win.
"I felt like we were going to win it," said Darlene Capparelli, mother of the bride-to-be.
"I consider myself one of the luckiest men in the world," Bonick said. "I won the woman of my dreams and the dream wedding."
Darlene Capparelli said the couple deserved to win because they work so hard, in school and out. Bonick teaches guitar lessons and plays at coffee shops and Vikki Capparelli works at a salon for extra cash.
Principal Peter Slack said Vikki Capparelli was recently recognized with an "I Make a Difference" Teachers of Excellence award.
Bonick, too, is "phenomenal," Slack said. "There's music in everything he does."
Both of the teachers will be moving up to teach first grade next year. Their students are excited to see them in the fall, but some of them, such as 6-year-old Niccolo Philippe and Jennifer Potts, hope to see their teachers this summer.
"I want to be invited to the wedding," Philippe said.