Local vet tech wins smart carDebbie Sanford used to classify herself as someone who just “doesn’t win anything.”
By: Sarah Gorvin, The Republican Eagle
Debbie Sanford used to classify herself as someone who just “doesn’t win anything.”
But after Monday, that will be hard for the Red Wing resident to say. Sanford, who works as a veterinary technician at All Creatures Veterinary Clinic, won a new smart car from pet food company Hill’s Pet Nutrition.
“I never dreamed I’d win,” she said. “I don’t win anything. To win a car was amazing.”
The car was the grand prize in a contest Hill’s started for veterinary technicians last January.
“Hill's really wanted to give a contest specifically designed for technicians, to bring out that technician voice,” Marc Vasquez, spokesman for Hill's Pet Nutrition, which makes Science Diet pet foods.
Technicians could enter the contest by completing a variety of activities, including answering trivia questions online or attending continuing education classes. Other prizes included an iPad, a customized stethoscope or gift cards.
Sanford said to enter the contest, she answered questions online, attended trainings, toured the Hill’s manufacturing facility in Topika, Kan., and helped teach the rest of the All Creatures staff about pet nutrition.
“I’ve kind of become the (clinic’s) foodie of what Science Diet has to offer,” she said.
Linda Mueller, the clinic’s sales representative for Hill’s, called Sanford to tell her she had won in September.
“She screamed,” Mueller said. “She did not believe me. She said, ‘You’re pulling my leg.’”
“I thought she was lying,” Sanford added.
Sanford said that her win started to sink in only when paperwork about her new vehicle began coming from Hill's and the car dealership.
Vasquez said there were more than 20,000 individual participants in the contest and more than 1 million entries. Only two other people in the U.S. won smart cars, he said.
“We always feel (contest winners) are in Texas, Florida,” Mueller said. “It’s very cool to have someone in our territory win.”
The staff celebrated the car’s arrival Monday with a cake from Hanish Bakery and balloons. Sanford got her first look at her new vehicle as it pulled into the clinic’s parking lot on a flatbed tow truck.
“It’s insanely cool,” she said, clapping her hands. “I love it. I absolutely love it. It’s amazing.”
The car came with decals of dogs and a cat chasing red balls on it. Vasquez said winners can remove them, but Sanford said she’ll be leaving the animals on her new car’s doors.
“Now I gotta go somewhere,” she said. “I don’t know where, but I gotta go somewhere.”