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Parents of alcohol victim decry free-drinks promotion

FORT COLLINS, Colo. -- The parents of a college student who died of alcohol poisoning criticized yesterday a promoter's plans to offer free drinks at a bar and donate money to a foundation named for their daughter.

The promotion, a gelatin-wrestling tournament dubbed ''Wrestle-O," was to include a free shot of alcohol to the first 100 women in the door, according to a flier distributed at Colorado State University, where 19-year-old Samantha Spady died Sept. 6. Investigators said Samantha Spady had consumed at least 30 drinks in 11 hours before she succumbed, one of at least four deaths in Colorado linked to alcohol this fall.

''We find it abhorrent that anyone would exploit the tragedy of her death in this manner," said Rick and Patty Spady of Beatrice, Neb.

It was not immediately clear when the tournament was planned. Brian Collins, whose company is organizing the promotion, said last week that he hoped to donate at least $100 to the foundation the Spadys established after their daughter's death. The foundation promotes alcohol awareness.

Neither Collins nor officials of the restaurant where the promotion was to be held returned phone calls yesterday.

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