Injured EMT walks away with $30,000 for college fund

Posted: April 19, 2011 in Uncategorized
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Vanessa Carrillo, the 5-foot, 92-pound teenager peeking over the center of the check, received $30,000 toward college on Monday from Dr Pepper and Coca-Cola Bottling, Co., in Santa Fe. The men around her are, from left, Trey Strange and Bill Pendergraft of Dr Pepper and Stuart Feltman of Coca-Cola Bottling Co. of Santa Fe. (Courtesy photo)

Congrats to both Vanessa Carrillo and to the people at Coca-Cola Bottling, Co., in Santa Fe who teamed up with Dr Pepper to raise $30,000 for a college fund for the injured EMT. They presented Carrillo with the check on Monday.

By the way, Carrillo walked up from her table to accept the check.

Carrillo was nearly killed in a Dec. 15 wrong-way crash on Interstate 25. 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) was donated to Carrillo’s college fund.


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