As of Tuesday of this week, more than $10,000 was raised in the first two weeks of the month-long Dr Pepper/Coca-Cola campaign geared at raising money for a La Cienega EMT injured in a head-on collision on Interstate 25 in December.
And the good-will gesture almost makes up for the jingle that’s been stuck in my head since I was at Walmart earlier this week (see video at bottom of this post).
The fundraiser, which runs through April 6, is on behalf of Vanessa Carrillo, the 19-year-old EMT who was severely injured when a drunken driver traveling the wrong way on I-25 collided with the ambulance Carrillo was driving while on the job. Carrillo’s legs were fractured in multiple places and she has not yet been able to walk without assistance.
After the crash, Carrillo’s first request upon waking up from a coma was for a drink of Dr Pepper. When an account of that was published in The New Mexican, friends and family flooded Carrillo with Dr Pepper and a few weeks later when I asked her if she had enough Dr Pepper yet, she offered an advertising exec’s dream response:
“It’s OK. You can never have too much Dr Pepper”
— Vanessa Carrillo in Jan. 3 New Mexican
Stuart Feltman, vice president of sales for the Coca-Cola Bottling Co. of Santa Fe, which distributes the soft drink, sent the articles to national headquarters. When the companies — Coca-Cola and Dr Pepper — heard Carrillo wanted to one day return to school to become a doctor, they decided to come up with the fundraiser to help her reach her goal.
As part of the campaign, 50 cents from the sale of every 24 cans (not bottles) of Dr Pepper, Diet Dr Pepper or diet or regular cherry-flavored Dr Pepper sold in one of 23 participating Walmart stores and 15 Quik Stop stores in New Mexico (and one in Colorado) will be donated to Carrillo’s college fund.
And for full disclosure, when I as very young (like 3-4), my dad worked for Coca-Cola Bottling, Co., here in Santa Fe and has wonderful memories of his time there working with the Hart family. I was happy to hear in doing this series of stories the Hart family is still running Coca-Cola Bottling, Co., Santa Fe.
The Harts were always very good to my family (I’m told… I can’t say I remember much more than running around the Coke plant like I ran the place with my Be a Pepper t-shirt when I was about 3-years-old).
Which brings me to this (my apologies in advance for anyone who sings this jingle the rest of the day) …