Queen Creek teen wins car for donating blood

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Cariayn Rutherford from Queen Creek won a brand new car for donating blood. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Cariayn Rutherford from Queen Creek won a brand new car for donating blood. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Rutherford had the winning key that turned on the engine of the car. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Rutherford had the winning key that turned on the engine of the car. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Rutherford donated blood for the first time ever on Aug. 29 at Queen Creek High School. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Rutherford donated blood for the first time ever on Aug. 29 at Queen Creek High School. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

Queen Creek teen Cariayn Rutherford was announced Wednesday as the winner of a statewide “Summer Drive to Save Lives” raffle sponsored by Volkswagen and United Blood Services.

Rutherford, 17, joined 47,243 donors in giving blood between June 1 and Aug. 31 to be entered to win a 2017 Volkswagen Passat R-Line car. Ten finalists were drawn and invited to the Grand Prize Ceremony at United Blood Services headquarters Wednesday. Her parents watched as her name was drawn and Rutherford turned the key to start the engine of her new car.

“It was really awesome to save someone’s life,” Rutherford said. “And the extra credit in English class was great too.”

[READ MORE: United Blood Services asking for blood donations]

At the ceremony, Rutherford learned that her type O blood was given to a Valley teen in the hospital for a bone marrow transplant and that her blood had been specially chosen because she was negative to a certain antibody.

“The seven Valley Volkswagen Dealers and Volkswagen of America genuinely believe in giving back to the communities in which we live and do business,” said Lunde’s Peoria Volkswagen owner Dennis Lunde on behalf of the dealerships. “What better way to support United Blood Services in their efforts than to make sure there is an adequate blood supply for those in need.”

Rutherford donated blood for the first time ever on Aug. 29 at Queen Creek High School, just two weeks before being chosen as the campaign’s teen donor finalist.

[RELATED: Blood donations needed as supplies dwindle during summer]

Teens have become the state’s largest blood donor group, with over 22,000 donations per year.

“It was so rewarding to see a high school donor drive away as a United Blood Services-honored hero, especially since teens give one out of every six blood donations in Arizona,” said Sid Lewis, senior director of Donor Recruitment for United Blood Services. “United Blood Services was honored to have the opportunity to partner with Valley Volkswagen dealers in a three-month campaign that encouraged so many donors to give blood, especially during the summer months.”

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