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Published: Thursday, 7/29/2004

Rossford woman could take top modeling prize

Rossford resident Sarah Nussbaum entered a national modeling contest on a whim. But now, she's beaten more than 15,000 other entrants to place in the top five of the 2004 Plus Size Model Search.

Ms. Nussbaum, 22, never aspired to be a model. But once her mother convinced her to enter the contest and a friend took a few snapshots to send in with the application, fate stepped in.

"I thought it would be fun to even see if I could make the top 100," the Central Ohio Technical college graduate said. "It was a last minute thing."

Entrants were supposed to hear if they'd made the finals by the middle of June, she says. When the deadline came and went, she figured she had failed. But a week laster, the ophone rang.

"They called me on my lunch break," she said. "I ws shocked, actually. I was like, 'What are you talking about? You're lying. This is a joke.'"

But once she flew to New York for a photo shoot, she knew it was no joke - although it was a great deal of fun.

"I had never been to New York before," the Wooster native said. "For me, it was just a relly great experience. I had so much fun. I got to go to New York and have people do my hair and makeup!"

Until Aug. 2, people can go to Lane Bryant's Web site and vote for their favorite finalist. The winner of the people's choice contest gets a $250 gift card from Tiffany. To vote, go to www.lanebryant.com. The grand prize winner, selected by contest sponsors Lane Bryant and Ford 12+ Models, wins a $25,000 modeling contract and will appear in the 2004 Holiday advertising campaign for Lane Bryant.

Winners will be announced Aug. 5.

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