Danny Cottrell: Recession Angel

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

The name “Danny Cottrell”  is well known in the area. At one time or another, most everyone that has passed through The Medical Center Pharmacy has been waited on or had a prescription filled by Charles Daniel Cottrell.

What you may not know is how vital he is in the community.

You may remember that in 2008, when the country went through a recession, the government offered a “stimulus” to get people through. Well, Cottrell was not satisfied with that and decided to offer his own stimulus. He went to the bank and withdrew $16,000 and gave the clerk reason to question him.

Email newsletter signup

“She thought I was crazy when I requested the money to be in $2 bills,” he said.

He took the money and called a meeting with his employees.

“Considering the economy, I think they thought somebody was going to lose their job,” Cottrell said. “They were so surprised when I gave them money.”

Full-time employees were given $700 and part-time were given $300. They were told to spend the $2 bills locally and give 15 percent to charity. The money soon starting showing up all over town as employees began to spend it. It did not go unnoticed as $2 bills stand out. It was the talk of the town and soon drew the attention of national news agencies, who dubbed him a “recession angel.” Cottrell appeared on several news shows and soon there were others that followed his example.

That is just the way Danny Cottrell is. He always steps up when he is called upon and joins in when an event is going on around town. He also has a close relationship with the schools and has sponsored a partnership with Brewton Elementary School by participating in project Brewton Elementary and Me, “Beam.” This program allows students who have completed their work goals to shop among several items furnished by Cottrell. These examples are only a few of the things he has done that have earned him to be named “Citizen of the Year.”

Cottrell was born in St. Mary’s, Ga. His father came to Brewton when the mill was in the planning stages and moved his family here when Cottrell was a small child. 

Cottrell attended the schools in the Brewton schools and graduated from T.R. Miller in 1974.

During this time, he was not sitting down doing nothing. When he was 15, he got a job at Medical Center Pharmacy working with Jack Wellborn. Wellborn asked him and several other boys if they had a driver’s license. He said that he had a license when he actually didn’t, so his mother had to drive him.

“Nobody was happier than she was when I got my driver’s license,” Cottrell said. “I liked working at the pharmacy so I kept working there all the way through high school. Then I went to Jefferson Davis and graduated from Auburn University in 1979.”

In the years since, he began working at the pharmacy, he is now the owner of the drug store in Brewton along with 19 others, one of which is his latest in East Brewton.  He now owns three stores outright and the others which he partners with in Florida and Alabama.

“I am a Christian and spend a lot of time doing various things in First Baptist Church,” he said. “This area has been good to me and I want to give something back in appreciation to the community.”