Thursday, January 23, 2003
Steamboat Springs Courtney Poynter looked startled Thursday when 10 tuxedo-clad skiers and snowboarders carrying roses and champagne sped down Rainbow trail toward her, coming to an abrupt stop and kneeling in two lines at her feet.
Television cameras were rolling and big, furry microphones on long poles were waving in front of her.
Seconds earlier, Poynter, 25, and her boyfriend, Brad Moline, 26, were casually skiing on the Steamboat Ski Area's Velvet run when a ski area employee flagged them down, asking for help in filming a commercial.
After Poynter was presented with roses from the roguish group of skiers and snowboarders -- dressed-up Steamboat ski school instructors -- Moline got on one knee and proposed marriage. It was then that a shocked Poynter realized the moment was much more than a commercial.
With tears in her eyes, she said yes.
"I had no idea," she said after putting on her ring. She still didn't know the rest of the story.
Moline was one of three winners of Korbel Champagne's "Perfect Proposal Contest," which drew 500 contestants pitching their perfect proposals.
Moline won for wanting to propose to Poynter while skiing at Steamboat.
"Steamboat is just a special place to her," he said.
Poynter's grandfather, Jim Landers, was a ski instructor in Steamboat and taught her to ski on Mount Werner.
Korbel officials liked the story and worked with the Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. to help organize Moline's proposal. Along with getting ski and snowboarding instructors in tuxedos, officials arranged for a large, red sign reading "Will you marry me?" to be unveiled on upper Rainbow while Moline proposed.
"I didn't even see the sign," Poynter said. At the time, she was more concerned with the skiers and snowboarders lining up at her feet.
Korbel purchased an engagement ring for the couple and entered Moline and Poynter, both Fort Collins natives, in a contest to win $10,000 for an engagement party or a honeymoon.
On Feb. 12, all three proposals will be aired on NBC's "Today" show. The best proposal will win the $10,000.
Moline admitted he was nervous about proposing.
"I don't think you had anything to worry about," Poynter said to him.
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