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Wachovia Awards Hero $25,000 In Who Would You Thank? Contest


CHARLOTTE, N.C.—John Lane of Georgia saved Gary and Sally Puckett, a North Carolina couple, from a deadly accident in an act of true heroism. Now that Lane needs help to pay medical bills, the couple has the chance to say “thanks” with a $25,000 cash award courtesy of Wachovia and Raleigh, N.C., customer Jennifer Walken.

Walken – Sally Puckett’s sister and a Wachovia customer for 24 years – is the grand prize winner in Wachovia’s Who Would You Thank? Contest (contest details below) conducted as part of 2007 National Customer Service Week. She is among 38 winners who received prizes ranging from $250 to $25,000.

Two years ago, the Pucketts were trapped inside their burning vehicle on Interstate 95 after a collision with a speeding tractor-trailer. Passerby John Lane from Brunswick, Ga., immediately reacted. Running from his car through gas flames, he pulled the two from the car just seconds before it exploded. The three emerged from the fiery wreckage unscathed.

“My sister’s seatbelt was jammed,” said Walken. “John saw the car with people in it, stopped, raced through gas flames on the highway, pulled them out by God’s grace and saved them. He, as a stranger, endangered his own life and literally saved the life of my sister and her husband with only a moment to spare.”

“Gratitude is an important part of Wachovia’s culture,” said Jack Clayton, Wachovia’s Regional President for Raleigh. “Through our Who Would You Thank? Contest, we are thrilled to be able to help Jennifer and her family thank John Lane, who risked his life to save complete strangers.”

“Together with our customers, this contest allows Wachovia to spread the spirit of gratitude, something we value every day,” said Ken Thompson, chairman and CEO of Wachovia Corporation.

Laurietta Faulkner of South Boston, Va., a runner-up and recipient of a $10,000 cash prize, shared a heartwarming story focused on her mentor, Joyce Houser of Fort Wayne, Ind. As an underprivileged 12-year-old, Faulkner said she had no confidence and little hope for the future until Houser, then a student teacher, stepped into her life. Through her, Faulkner said she gained a sense of self-worth and learned that her challenging childhood did not have to define her life.


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