Cody Hand of Finley has a new appreciation for Dr Pepper.
He received a check Tuesday for $1,000 from the soft drink corporation to use for college expenses.
His father, Don Hand, actually won the money in a drawing, but since the money is earmarked for college tuition, he's giving it to his son.
The check was presented at the Finley Shopper, a grocery/hardware/feed store near River View High School, where Cody is a senior.
The Dr Pepper Snapple Group does a lot of college tuition promotions nationally. It also allows its distributors to customize smaller contests locally, said Greg Schreck, sales center manager for Swire 7Up/Dr Pepper of Pasco. Swire is the Dr Pepper distributor in the Mid-Columbia.
Schreck set up the contest last fall with Kathy and Robin Richards, owners of the Finley Shopper and River View High counselor Rebekah Duty.
"I knew the owners do a lot of promotions for the Finley schools during the year," Schreck said, adding, "I also wanted to choose a small community because I knew the kids there would benefit the most."
To compete, anyone older than 18 years of age could text a number associated with the store and the school. At the end of the contest, all the entries for that number were gathered and one chosen at random.
Dr Pepper received 3,000 text messages from the Finley contest.
"Usually we're lucky to get 300 or so," said Rusty Frain, vice president of sales and operations for Swire Beverages. He works in the corporate office in Draper, Utah, but was in the Tri-Cities and offered to help present the check to the Hands.
River High Principal Bryan Long said, "Cody is one of our finest. He's multi-talented in both athletics and academics. He's a real role model, has good ethics and a good character. He can shoot for the stars."
Cody said his goal is to attend Pacific University in Forest Grove, Ore., where he already has a president's scholarship for $15,000 a year for four years. He plans to become a physical therapist.
w Loretto J. Hulse: 582-1513; email@example.com