One lucky Kilgore College student will be driving home in a brand new Chevrolet Cruze and nine others will have some financial assistance as they pursue their educations.

Dani Moreno, a Kinesiology major from Houston, won the grand prize of a new Chevy Cruze Friday morning as nine other students took home checks from KC.

“It feels great!” Moreno said about her win. “It’s so cool. I was not expecting this at all.”

Moreno said she doesn’t currently have a vehicle and the new Cruze will be especially useful.

The 10 finalists assembled on the Mike Miller Plaza in front of KC’s Watson Library Friday for a brief ceremony that was slightly delayed by a rain shower. The first eight $500 winners were drawn at random from a bowl of names and the final two were each allowed to choose a key fob, only one of which would unlock the new vehicle.

The moment of truth came as the fobs were pressed and Moreno raised her hand to her face in surprise as the other contestants cheered.

The car, donated by Patterson Chevrolet of Kilgore, was the grand prize in KC’s “Cruise For Success” program. The first runner-up prize was a check for $1,000 and the eight remaining prizes were $500 checks.

The “Cruise for Success” program allows qualifying KC students to earn points throughout the fall and spring semesters for a chance to win a new car, sponsored by Patterson Chevrolet Kilgore.

Beginning in August of 2020, qualifying KC students can once again earn points for monthly prizes and work toward qualifying for the drawing for a new car in the spring.

On Friday, the college also unveiled next year’s prize, sponsored by Patterson Chevrolet in Kilgore. A brand new Chevy Trax will be awarded to the grand prize winner in the spring of 2021 for the second year of the “Cruise for Success” program.

“We are so thankful for Patterson Chevrolet of Kilgore’s commitment to this program and the success of our students,” said Dr. Brenda Kays, KC President. “None of this would have been possible without our partnership with Patterson Chevrolet in Kilgore – a true community partner dedicated to the success of our students.

KC graduate and NHRA Top Fuel two-time defending champ Steve Torrence, who serves as the official spokesperson for Cruise for Success, was on hand Friday to help with the drawing and also said a few words.

The Cruise for Success incentive program is KC’s way of encouraging student success by giving students an opportunity to win prizes as a reward for doing things proven to increase overall success in college.

KC holds monthly prize drawings for students earning points, culminating in the grand prize giveaway of a new car ach spring.

In addition to Patterson Chevrolet in Kilgore, other sponsors include CAPCO Contractors; Torrence Racing; Marco Inspection; and AMBUCS of East Texas.

Asked where she would take her new car for its first spin, Moreno answered quickly, noting her family would be very excited to hear the news.

“Probably home!”

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