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Prom King: Central Alum Wins $50K Tuxedo Competition

David Reed won $25,000 for college and $25,000 for West Morris Central in a Jos. A. Bank competition.

Photo Courtesy David Reed.
Photo Courtesy David Reed.
All David Reed wanted was a free tuxedo for his senior prom.

What he got was a small windfall toward his college education and a major boost in spending money for his alma mater.

In the spring of 2013, David’s father was being fitted for a suit at Jos. A. Bank in Chester when he called his son. The message was simple: there’s a great sale going on, come on down and get fitted for a suit.

Simple enough, Reed thought, so he headed to the clothier and found himself some new formal wear. What happened over the next few weeks was never intended, yet completely purposeful.

“[Store employee] Mrs. Vitale told me about the competition and I mentioned I would be very interested,” Reed said. “Originally, I just wanted a free tux for prom, so I was thinking small scale.”

The competition had varying levels of awards, from a free tuxedo for prom if a customer garnered enough referrals, all the way up to a grand prize of $50,000. Reed would only need 10 friends to go, and he’d save $150 on his own tuxedo.

“I handed out extra (referral) cards to make sure I got at least 10 referrals,” Reed said. “When I went back to Jos. A. Bank, all the employees were excited. They told me I was doing well and should keep working.”

Reed admits he never set his sights on the grand prize, but there were various smaller prizes he “aimed” for. By walking around before and during school, and talking to as many people as possible, he made it known at West Morris Central he was the man with the discount cards to Jos. A. Bank.

“Before I knew it, people were texting me for a referral card for their friend, coming up to me at track practice asking if I had more, hunting me down at lunch for a second card,” Reed said. “It really started to take off. I never had any special strategy or complex answer for getting people to go to Jos. A. Bank. I simply handed everybody a discount card and told them where to get their tux.

“People did it,” Reed said.

Reed’s word of mouth campaign soon turned into $50,000. The 2013 Central graduate and current Purdue University freshman won the store’s grand prize, which gave him $25,000 in scholarship money and $25,000 to West Morris Central for whatever use it chose.

After being awarded the grand prize, Reed sat down with Central principal Steve Ryan to discuss proper allocation of the money. Some of the winnings will go toward fixing the ropes course as well as additions to the gymnasium, which Reed said he was fine with.

The alum also suggested putting some money toward fixing up the campus as well. Reed also requested some of the funds go toward gardening projects around the school, which are being spearheaded by his former track coach Tom Lawrence.

Prom night is one most students cherish forever. For David Reed, he’s got 25,000 reasons to never forget his.
12345678 September 24, 2013 at 08:31 PM
Congratulations!!
Indoor Outdoor September 24, 2013 at 10:29 PM
Great, feel-good story! Congratulations!
Leah Korbel September 25, 2013 at 03:20 PM
congratulations-great perseverance!

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