Dawn Baratta wins the Kiss The Car event at LaFontaine Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram in Saline, MI

On a cloudy Saturday morning in Saline, MI, forty contestants prepared to place their lips on a car for the hopes of winning a two year lease on a new vehicle.
By: Jason Stum
March 1, 2011 - PRLog -- I think it's safe to assume that no one could have predicted how the Kiss The Car event at LaFontaine Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram in Saline, MI would end. On February 26th at 10:00 a.m., 31 contestants placed their lips on one of two vehicles, hoping to be the person who could kiss the car the longest and win a two year lease on a new vehicle.

As the hours passed by, it became quite apparent that this was going to be a contest of endurance & willpower. Jason Stum, the Social Media Manager for the LaFontaine Automotive Group, recalls a conversation he had with a member of the local press a few hours into the event.

"I was talking to Tran Longmoore from the Saline-Milan Patch and he had asked me how long we expected the event to last. I told him that we were prepared to have staff come in at midnight if by chance the event was still going on at that time. Clearly, I misjudged just how determined the contestants would be because not only did we blow by that midnight, but they went well past the next midnight as well. Looking back at my statement, I feel quite silly indeed."

What's truly amazing is that after over forty-five hours kissing a car, there were still four contestants still going strong. Imagine what it feels like to be awake for nearly two days straight. Now imagine that you are standing the majority of that time. Do you think you could do that? I know I couldn't.

Thew rules of Kiss The Car, as determined by 102.9 W4 Country, was that to continue in the contest, each participant had to have both feet flat on the ground and lips firmly planted to the car at all times. As part of the rules, the contestants were given a ten minute break once every hour to use as they please. These breaks helped the contestants stay hydrated & nourished and allowed them a few moments of relief from the stress.

As the forty-fifth hour ticked by, it became quite apparent that none of the final four were willing to forfeit the contest. During their last break, the four contestants, Janet Delaney, Dawn Baratta, Jim Spots & James Scollard decided to get together and come up with an exit strategy. After some discussion all four agreed to quit kissing the car at the same time and let their fates be decided by the luck of the draw.

Their plan was communicated to Brian "Bubba" Cowan of 102.9 W4 Country who was hosting his "Breakfast with Bubba" show live from the LaFontaine Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram showroom in Saline, MI. Bubba confirmed that this would be an acceptable way to end the contest, and shortly after 6:40 Monday morning, all four contestants removed their lips simultaneously from the 2011 Chrysler 200 that they had been kissing for nearly two full days.

All four contestants names were written down and placed in a hat to be drawn at random. The first name out was Janey Delaney, who as the fourth place finisher took home assorted gift certificates and consolation prizes. The next name to be drawn was James Scollard, who won the third place prize of an 18 karat gold diamond heart necklace courtesy of Lewis Jewelers in Ann Arbor, MI.

A great since of anticipation fell over the assembled crowd as it was time to pick who would win the car and who would win the second place prize of four day Caribbean Cruise with air fare to Miami. Bubba reached into the hat to draw the name of the second place winner. As he unfolded the paper slip and read aloud the name of Jim Spots, Dawn Baratta realized that she had just won a two year lease on a new car.

The four contestants, weary from their struggle, breathed a sigh of relief as the contest was finally over. It was a shame that all four couldn't have won the car as they all participated quite valiantly and respectably.

"There really are no losers here", said Angela Butler, "every single contestant is a winner in our book. To do what they did, and for as long as they did, showed their stamina & willpower".

Although no one knew how the contest would end, it's safe to say that it ended with grace and dignity, and that all four finalists are indeed true champions. Congratulations to everyone, the rewards for your efforts are well deserved.



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