Good News: Hometown Hero

This past September, Ocean Spray Hot Tubs awarded a local USMC veteran, and current Air National Guard 106th Rescue Wing and police officer, a free hot tub. Matt Rehman won the hot tub as part of the company’s Hometown Hero contest, which was announced at an annual Salute to Heroes Concert put on by a local country radio station. His wife, Nicole, nominated him.

During the six-week contest, Ocean Spray received 147 nominations. Marketing director Kristy Verity and owner Joe Musnicki read every one. “We began this ‘feel-good’ giveaway with no thought to how emotional it would become,” Verity says. “Every nomination brought tears with it. We were so moved by the stories of kindness, selflessness and heroism. We narrowed it down to five nominations and asked our store’s team to vote on the winner.”

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The hot tub was delivered in October — and the Rehman’s left the company a five-star Google review when it arrived. “He and his wife have emailed and called numerous times to thank us, and tell us how much they love their spa for relaxation after long days and nights — he is a NYPD officer and active-duty Air National Guard; she is an emergency room physician’s assistant — and for date nights when their little ones are sleeping,” Verity says. “Matt has given us NYPD T-shirts as a thank you gift.”

This was the first time Ocean Spray did the Hometown Hero giveaway, but Verity says the company is planning to do it again this year. “Ocean Spray is honored to have the opportunity to give back to the brave heroes who protect and serve our community every day,” Verity says. “The hot tub giveaway was truly a priceless experience for our team. There was not a dry eye from any of us the day that we met our winner and made our announcement on stage.”