Sparkling Ice, made by Talking Rain Beverage Co., has announced the selection of three finalists for its first-ever Cheers to Heroes campaign and contest to celebrate America’s hometown heroes, in conjunction with its fifth annual partnership with the Honor Flight Network. Each individual is being honored for their support and dedication to their communities and are now in the running to be named the winner of the Cheers to Heroes Contest and receive a cash prize of $10,000.
The Cheers to Heroes campaign officially launched in April, when Sparkling Ice hosted a call-to-action for consumers to nominate a hero in their life. The company also pledged to give back $400,000 to unsung heroes through various initiatives including a donation to the Honor Flight Network and by creating “surprise and delight” moments for everyday consumers.
Between April and June, more than 3,000 nominations were submitted from over 1,700 cities across the country, highlighting everyday heroes ranging from first line responders, community activists, teachers, office managers, doctors, nurses, friends, neighbors and more, for the notable and heroic work they’ve done in their communities. Now, Sparkling Ice is asking America to join in celebrating these everyday heroes by voting for their hero.
After careful consideration, the finalists include:
- Kathy Hewitt of Lake Mary, Florida – Hewitt’s work began with a promise to her nephew, who was deployed to Afghanistan, that she would send him a care package every month. In honor of her nephew’s safe return, she founded Just Our Soldiers’ Helpers (JOSH). The mission of JOSH is to increase the morale of deployed U.S. service members in all branches of the military. They do this by providing service members with care packages containing quality products that are not readily available during deployment. Since it was founded, JOSH has shipped more than 110,000 pounds of food and hygiene products and in 2019 alone, it shipped 2,650 care packages;
- Rosako Bailey of Bedford, Texas – Bailey runs a soul food barbecue restaurant in Bedford. One day, he found a homeless veteran looking in his trash for food and brought the vet into his restaurant to give him a meal. Since then, he has made it his mission to serve and give back to the homeless veteran population. Bailey created his own program, Feed a Veteran, where customers donate money to support a free meal for any homeless veteran that enters his restaurant. In addition, a few times a year, he closes his restaurant to the public and serves meals to the homeless. This past year, he was able to serve meals to more than 500 people; and
- Millie Garcia of Kissimmee, Florida – Garcia is the founder of Overflowing Fountain Outreach Ministries Corp., a nonprofit organization that focuses on homeless outreach in her hometown of Kissimmee. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, she and her team have been working tirelessly in her community handing out bread, sandwiches, juice, water, clothing, etc. to the homeless/less-fortunate population. Garcia’s continuous goal is to spread a message of hope, love and compassion to the world.
Consumers across the country can vote until the end of July at sparklingice.com/cheerstoheroes. The winner will be announced on Aug. 7, and the nominator of the winning hero will receive a $500 prize. Voters also will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win a $50 gift card.
The Honor Flight Network is a non-profit organization that honors America’s veterans. Over the course of Sparkling Ice’s partnership with Honor Flight, the brand has raised more than $352,000, sponsoring more than 350 veteran trips to Washington, D.C., through past initiatives and donations from vendors, partners and individuals.
Sparkling Ice beverages are made with zero sugar and combine sparkling water, real fruit flavor, colors from natural sources, and vitamins and antioxidants.
For more information on the campaign, see story here.