PHILADELPHIA—A baseball game and a pair of Coca-Cola bottles created a very special moment for one Phillies fan earlier this month.
It all started when high school senior Karlee Hofmann, a cancer survivor and lifelong Phillies “phanatic”, decided to ask her boyfriend Billy Laverty to the prom during a home game.
Thanks to the Phillies’ Share a Coke-branded Instagram feature on the stadium jumbotron ("PhanaVision"), Coke and the Phillies teamed up to help Hofmann—and create a special memory in the process.
During Phillies games at Citizens Bank Park, fans can post photos to Instagram with the hashtag #PhilliesShareACoke for a chance to be featured on PhanaVision. Right before Hofmann asked Laverty to her prom, photos of the couple flashed across the screen for all 23,000 fans at the game to see.
After the slideshow, Hofmann held up a sign that read, “I am your PHANATIC! 'Swinging for the Fence.' I'd like to ask…Will you 'walk off' to prom with me?"
The plan was a hit; Laverty said “yes”.
Coke and the Phillies presented the couple with a prize pack including a Phillies' Zach Eflin jersey and other keepsakes, including commemorative Coca-Cola glass bottles featuring Hofmann and Laverty's first names.
“My favorite part was the Coke bottles," says Hofmann, who will attend Penn State University this fall. “My name is spelled so differently—you can never find a bottle like that."
Hofmann's gratitude is just one reason why the Phillies and Coke wanted to help make her “prom-posal” special. Hofmann has fought leukemia most of her life. Although she's been cancer-free since 2009, treatment complications left Hofmann in a wheelchair. But by speaking about her experiences, she has raised nearly $60,000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Her father, George Hofmann, says the “prom-posal” was a well-deserved moment of joy for his daughter.
“We are overwhelmed at how the Phillies and Coke put this together and how special it was," he says. “I'm without words for our appreciation for what Coke and the Phillies did for her."
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