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Nominating a Thanksgiving Hero

This post is sponsored by Blog Meets Brand on behalf of La Brea Bakery.

Happy Veterans Day. I am forever grateful for everyone who has served our country and happy that today’s post ties into honoring Veterans.

Last week I shared La Brea Bakery’s Thanksgiving Heroes Contest with you and today I’m here to nominate my own hometown hero. As a quick refresh in case you missed the first post, La Brea is hosting a contest where you can nominate a Thanksgiving Hero to receive one of five fully catered Thanksgiving dinners. These heroes can be anyone who is working on Thanksgiving day to serve others…firemen, police, doctors, nurses, restaurant staff, military personnel, travel industry workers, etc.


The first person who came to mind was my friend Chris. He’s one of the most inspirational people that I know. Chris is a former Marine and Medal of Valor recipient. He now serves Charlotte as a member of the CMPD SWAT team. I met Chris nearly 5 years ago when I started teaching yoga. He was one of my first “regulars.” Chris healed his body with yoga and his practice is so strong, focused and pure.


Chris has introduced so many others to the gift of yoga from his own son to other police officers. We are really fortunate at Y2 Yoga to have quite a few of our cities police and ex-military practicing with us. Chris has been such an advocate for what yoga can do for you both physically and emotionally to cope with the effects of a very demanding job.

In fact, Chris recently helped us organize a study with the University of North Carolina Charlotte to research the impact yoga can have on stress among police. We had over 100 CMPD employees practicing with us for 4 weeks and completing weekly surveys about their stress levels, sleep patterns, etc. It was a really cool experience and many of them are maintaining their practice after the study!

So when I was thinking of heroes, Chris was the first person to come to mind. Unfortunately (but very fortunate for Chris), he’s not working this Thanksgiving (barring any crazy scenario where he may be needed) so I asked him to please recommend to me someone he’d like to nominate.


Chris recommended CMPD Officer Derek Rud. He’s a 5 year Marine Corps Recon veteran who has spent 11  years as a CMPD officer, 6 of those on the SWAT Team. Officer Rud is the founder of an outdoor immersion program for at risk youths. This program takes youth on hiking and camping trips with volunteer police officers with the goal to expose them to nature and the outdoors while providing them with positive role models.

In addition, Officer Rud is currently part of a five-man team training for a 24-hour swim in May 2016 to benefit the children of two fallen officers.

Officer Rud will be working to serve our community on Thanksgiving Day and is certainly worthy of a Thanksgiving Hero nomination! In addition, I will be making a personal donation to his youth program.

Much thanks to Chris, Officer Rud and the CMPD for everything you do to keep our community safe 365 days a year.

If you want to nominate a #ThanksgivingHero in your life, make your submission by November 15.

CONTEST ENTRY INSTRUCTIONS: To submit an entry click the “Thanksgiving Heroes” tab to create your form submission by including: your first and last name; zip code; email address; an essay of 100 words or less telling about your family member that you will be unable to share Thanksgiving dinner with and submit at least one photograph showing both you and your family member that you will be unable to share Thanksgiving dinner with. Submissions must be received by November 15th 2015. Finalists will be announced November 17th 2015, after which the public will have a chance to vote for their favorites through November 20th 2015.

For more information, or to follow La Brea Bakery, you can find them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

Who is your Thanksgiving Hero this year?

This post is sponsored by Blog Meets Brand on behalf of La Brea Bakery. Thank you for reading and for your support.

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • cindy November 11, 2015, 3:42 pm

    That is truly wonderful!

  • Jessica November 12, 2015, 5:07 pm

    Loved this post! My stepdad is a firefighter and we are so accustomed to him working holidays.

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