PROSPECT — The town’s summer program at Long River Middle School offered more than classes for children on Friday morning.
It also delivered a marriage proposal for one of its instructors — Kelly Winterhalder.
The 24-year-old Winterhalder just thought her boyfriend of three years was bringing their baby to the Columbia Avenue school so she could hug their son on his first birthday.
At 10:20 a.m., the time their son Eli was born, Renato Valderrama presented her with a diamond ring.
“I was completely surprised,” Winterhalder said.
Sue Clairborn, an emergency medical technician with the Volunteer Fire Department of Prospect who was stationed in the lobby, recorded it all on video for the couple.
Valderrama, 31, came to the school Thursday, explained what he wanted to do and asked her to come down during Friday morning, Clairborn said. They agreed.
Valderrama arrived with a planter, and he kneeled down with the baby, she said. Winterhalder arrived, and he told her, “Oh, this is for you.” A string in the planter had an engagement ring attached to it.
The planter held a flower arrangement, and he told her that the shop forgot to cut the string. As she pulled it out, she saw the ring.
“As soon as she noticed the ring, he said, ‘Would you marry me?’” Clairborn said.
Winterhalder, later Friday, said, “I started crying. I was like, ‘Of course.’”
Clairborn said she plans to send the video to the couple as a memento.
Mayor Robert Chatfield said the town has run the four-week summer program for kindergarten through sixth-grade for about 30 years, and this is the first time for a marriage proposal to happen here.
He said he got so excited about it that he told about 40 parents who stood in the lobby to pick up their children about 12:30 p.m., he said. They applauded.