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Archive for Monday, September 16, 1996

COCA-COLA CALLS YOUNGSTER

September 16, 1996

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Lawrence fourth-grader Trent VanderPol, 10, got a last-minute call from Coca-Cola Tuesday evening telling him he would be in a television commercial.

A star is born?

Maybe not, but getting a call from a Coca-Cola representative was still an intense moment for 10-year-old Trent VanderPol.

Trent will appear in a Coca-Cola commercial that airs tonight during ABC's "Monday Night Football."

"Well, it's been a real exciting week. I think it was Tuesday night that Coca-Cola called, and we got a contract on Wednesday," Trent said. "Sometimes your luck just comes out of nowhere."

Trent's luck really did come out of nowhere.

Trent was filmed during the Kansas City Chiefs and New Orleans Saints August 10 preseason game for Coca-Cola's Red Zone contest.

The Coke crew was canvassing the crowd at the preseason game to find the best faces of fans. They took a Polaroid of Trent with his father, Tim, during a pregame parking lot tailgate party, but that was before Trent put on his "war paint".

"He had put war paint on so they weren't quite sure of who he was," Tim VanderPol said. "They were wanting to finish putting the commercial together. She (Coke representative Amber K. Lavender) was just ecstatic that they had found out who it was. They were ready to ship it, but they weren't certain of who it was."

Tim was a little disappointed that he was not the one getting the call.

Tim and his friends -- Don Towns and Ron and Rodney "Charlie" Little -- are The Football Heads.

For the past eight years, VanderPol and his friends -- season ticket holders and diehard Chiefs fans -- have donned football-shaped helmets for each game.

When VanderPol and fellow Football Heads went with their kids to Arrowhead on August 10, they were hoping that it would be the Football Heads who would be in the commercial.

"We just brought our boys down to the front row seats, and that's how they got us," VanderPol said. "They just picked up on Trent. The Football Heads didn't make the commercial, but he did."

Although all of the Football Heads didn't make it into the commercial, VanderPol and friend Charlie Little are shown briefly butting their heads.

VanderPol said his son will receive more than $1,000 from Coca-Cola for his work.

Although the money and his moment in front of the camera haven't gone to his head, Trent said the commercial has caused quite a stir with his friends.

"At first everyone was like 'Whoa! How much money are you going to make?'" Trent said. "Most of my friends are excited that they have a friend on a Coca-Cola commercial."

While many of today's television and movie stars got their start doing commercials, Trent said he's not anticipating any lead to stardom.

"One thing I don't want to turn into is a snotty star or anything like that," Trent said. "If I grow up and become a star, I would give a lot to a children's hospital or even give a half of a percent to my dad or something."

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