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Runaway bride bobbleheads a big hit

UPI News Service, 03/06/2006 

Lovers of kitch and profit lined up Sunday to snag a Runaway Bride bobblehead doll free to the first 1,000 hockey fans in the Duluth, Ga., hometown of a real runaway bride.

The 5-inch doll, complete with tiara, veil, sweatshirt and sneakers, caused a "huge spike" in ticket sales for the minor league Gladiator team, Doug Augis, team sales director, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitiution.

In advertising the giveaway, the team wryly advised that any similarity to an actual person, such as Duluth resident Jennifer Wilbanks, a real life runaway bride, was "purely coincidental."

However, just before the start of the game, Duluth Mayor Shirley Lasseter, who was critical of Wilbank's decision to sell her story, walked onto the ice for the honorary first puck with her head shrouded in a striped blanket similar to the one that Wilbanks covered herself with when she was rushed through the Albuquerque, N.M., airport last April.

Some who sought the bobblehead doll were collectors while others hoped to make a killing by reselling their Runaway Bride on eBay.

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Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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