By GARY POPP
JEFFERSONVILLE — Some people choose to start their lives together with a private marriage proposal between two loving people in a quiet setting.
Others, like Jeffersonville resident Gavin Catt, choose to enlist the help of a radio station, a flash-mob dance crew and about 60 bystanders to surprise his girlfriend with a proposal during a live radio broadcast — making a joyous spectacle in front of the Clark County Government Building on Valentine’s Day morning.
Catt shocked his girlfriend of 10 years and now bride-to-be, Lauren Pepper, of Jeffersonville, an administrative assistant in a Clark County courts’ probation office, with his elaborate proposal outside of her work.“It was a total surprise,” Pepper said. “I was just shocked.”
The event was made possible by area radio station 99.7 WDJX, after Catt’s essay was selected from nearly 100 entries to the broadcast station’s Prize Proposal contest. As the contest winner, Catt also was provided a $2,000 gift certificate to Genesis Diamonds to help purchase the engagement ring.
“I was really excited,” Catt said of his feeling leading up to proposal. “She deserves something nice and something fun like that. I wouldn’t have been able to have done all this without winning the contest.”
The contest included a performance by Rainbow Dance All Stars, a dance troupe from New Albany that performed a flash mob — a spontaneous group dance — that sprung into action as Pepper stepped out of the courthouse.
To pull off the surprise proposal, Catt had to secretly orchestrate his plans, which involved having his mother, Phyllis Catt, lure Pepper from her office to the steps leading to the entrance of the courthouse. Phyllis Catt did so by telling Pepper she had some paperwork to give her.
Before Pepper exited the building, Gavin Catt’s father, Steve Catt, also helped the proposal go unspoiled by asking a road crew working nearby on Court Avenue to shut off its loud jackhammer while his son made his big proposal.
When Pepper stepped outside and met Phyllis Catt, the Rainbow Dance All Stars went into action.
The flash mob began with only a single dancer as pop artist Bruno Mars’ “Merry You” was played from the speakers of a WDJX bright yellow Hummer. By the end of the song, the entire group was dancing in unison.
The dance came to an end with Gavin Catt standing in the center of the circle of dancers.
Pepper then joined Catt in the middle of the circle and accepted his proposal.
“I am glad that it went so well and that she is happy — that is what is important to me,” Catt said.
Still whirling with excitement from a Valentine’s Day she is certain to never forget, Pepper said her fiancé never ceases to keep her guessing.
“It surprised me that he would go to such great efforts to put on such a large production,” Pepper said. “It feels just wonderful. I couldn’t be happier.”