Coca Cola Keeps Promise To Help Jessie Arbogast

The Coca Cola company made good on its promise to help Jessie Arbogast.

The soft drink giant agreed to donate 50 thousand dollars to the shark bite victim's medical fund, after a friend of Jessie mentioned Coke's summer promotion in a national news interview.

Nine year old Simon Beveridge said he wished he could win the "Pop the Top" contest, so he could donate the prize money, to help with his friend's medical treatment. The two youngsters became friends this summer, at the Ocean Springs recreation day camp.

And that's where officials with Coke and Hancock Bank gathered Tuesday, to present the sizable check.

Jessie Arbogast's day camp friends headed to the playground for the special celebration. His good friend, Simon, got the attention of Coca Cola.

"And I looked at the wrapper and it said that you could win a million dollars. And I thought if I won a million dollars, I could give it all to Jessie for his medical bill," said Simon Beveridge.

Coca Cola spokesman, Mart Martin, says Simon's comments inspired the company.

"And we knew immediately that we really wanted to do something. And we wanted to do something in a pretty big way."

Coke kept its promise to match donations to Jessie's medical fund up to 50 thousand dollars. The company turned over the check and gave Simon a keepsake deposit slip.

Donations from the public, around the world, are still arriving at Hancock Bank.

"And we want to especially thank Coca Cola company for the contribution that they have made. And we sincerely hop that others will follow suit and keep sending in the funds like they have in the past," said Moreno Jones with Hancock Bank.

All the media attention didn't seem to bother Simon much. His main concern is for his injured friend; something that doesn't surprise his mom.

"Oh, I'm very proud of him. He's a wonderful kid. He's just one of those kids that is always thinking about other people. So this isn't, this isn't a surprise for him to want to do something like this," said Lici Beveridge.

Simon is already planning his friend's homecoming.

"I'm gonna throw a parade for him, because they should make like a national Jessie day."

The ongoing concern for Jessie is still evident around his hometown. Get well messages still fill the business marquees and yellow ribbons offer constant reminders of concern as this community anxiously awaits his happy homecoming.