Two weeks before the Ruck4HIT in 2017, Matthew Hersey of Nashua, New Hampshire, received a call from Justin King. Justin’s team needed a runner at the last minute “and I got thrown into a van with a bunch of people I didn’t know,” Hersey laughed.
Hersey has not missed a Ruck4HIT since. “It’s grown to be a part of my life and my yearly schedule,” Hersey said. “This time of year, I don’t plan anything and I’m not going anywhere because I know we’re doing the Ruck. Justin is my best friend and he’s a captain so we’re both a part of it. And now our wives are both a part of it.”
This past weekend, Hersey added to his commitment to the race – and Heroes In Transition (HIT) – by organizing a Boots & Brews Car Show at Anheuser-Busch’s Merrimack, New Hampshire brewery. There were over 300 cars of different makes, models, and years, and nearly 800 people in attendance.
An event that was over two months in the making raised over $5,000 for HIT.
It was a perfect fundraiser for Hersey, who owns an automotive shop, Hersey Performance in Merrimack, which sponsored the event along with Broco Energy. Hersey was inspired to organize the event after attending the SEMA Show in Las Vegas last fall. “That is kind of where I got most of my ideas for how to run this show really,” he said. “I watched these big national shows and saw how they run things and how they obtain and keep sponsors for their events.”
Hersey, who is serving as the co-captain for his Ruck4HIT team, Fubar Friends, expressed gratitude for how his inaugural car show went. “I come from a military family so supporting veterans has been a big thing in my life,” he said. “I had been trying to figure out a way to do something for Heroes In Transition, but it’s been hard up here because people don’t know what the Ruck4HIT is. This year, we not only raised money for HIT, but we raised awareness for the event and the organization.
“My mom was actually running the registration area with my sister-in-law and every person came up to her asking, ‘What is Heroes In Transition? What do they do? Where are they located.’ She told them they are based in New England and helping out veterans right here,” he continued.
After seeing how successful the first show was, Hersey is already looking forward next year. “This is something that if it went well – and I feel it went well – I will try and do every year,” he said.