Tornado-hit Ind. school seeks Lady Antebellum prom
FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2011, file photo Lady Antebellum musical group members from left, Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott and Dave Haywood, accept the award for country band, duo or group at the 39th Annual American Music Awards on in Los Angeles. Students from the wrecked school awaited word Tuesday, March 20, 2012, about whether on online campaign supported by other schools in their state and beyond will land them a prom-night performance by Grammy-winning country trio Lady Antebellum. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles, File)
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Students from an Indiana high school wrecked by tornadoes awaited word Tuesday about whether on online campaign supported by other schools in their state and beyond will land them a prom-night performance by Grammy-winning country trio Lady Antebellum.
Schools from Indiana to northern Wisconsin — even one in a similarly tornado-ravaged Illinois community — submitted YouTube videos urging the country trio to choose Henryville, Ind., as the winner of its "Own the Night" contest. The winner to be announced Tuesday gets a 45-minute Lady Antebellum concert at its prom.
"When we learned about Henryville, we decided maybe we weren't the ones who needed Lady Antebellum to come to our prom," said Brandon Dively, 16, a junior at D.C. Everest Senior High School in Weston, Wis., who worked on the student-made video uploaded to YouTube. "Their community was destroyed."
The building housing Henryville High and other classrooms was heavily damaged during a series of tornadoes that killed 13 people across southern Indiana on March 2.
Earlier that same week, storms killed seven people in Harrisburg, Ill., but students there also decided to back Henryville's prom bid.
The first couple minutes of Harrisburg's three-minute video focus on the storm damage in that community, but the final 30 seconds switch to its Indiana counterpart.
"While the students at Harrisburg High School would LOVE to have Lady Antebellum play at their high school prom, they would LOVE to have them play at Henryville, Indiana, even more," a slide in the video reads.
Students at Silver Creek High School in Sellersburg, Ind., meanwhile, looked past a longtime sports rivalry with Henryville and made video that's one of the most-watched YouTube segments in Lady Antebellum's contest, with more than 12,000 views as of Tuesday.
FILE - In this March 3, 2012, file photos vehicles damaged by a tornado lie in the parking lot of the Henryville Jr./Sr. High School in Henryville, Ind. Students from the wrecked school awaited word Tuesday, March 20, 2012, about whether on online campaign supported by other schools in their state and beyond will land them a prom-night performance by Grammy-winning country trio Lady Antebellum. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy, File)
Mary Beth Coffman, Silver Creek's mass media teacher, recruited three of her students to be the video's stars and spent two days in Henryville filming interviews with local residents and getting film footage of the devastation.
She also visited a Louisville, Ky., hospital to interview Stephanie Decker, a Henryville woman who lost parts of both legs protecting her two children as it destroyed the family's home. Decker, whose husband is a math teacher at Silver Creek, urges the band to choose Henryville, saying "I think you could help a lot of people."