Talking Rain Beverage Co., the maker of Sparkling Ice beverages, announced the selection of three finalists for its second annual Cheers to Heroes campaign and contest celebrating everyday heroes from across the country. This year’s finalists are being honored for their support and continued dedication to their local communities and are now in the running to be named the winner of this year’s Cheers to Heroes contest with a cash prize of $10,000.

Earlier in April 2021, Sparkling Ice teamed up with one of America’s favorite hometown heroes, 3-time Olympic Gold Medalist Gabby Douglas to kick off this year’s campaign, where together, Gabby and the brand announced the campaign’s call-to-action for consumers to nominate a hero in their life.

In addition to the $10,000 grand prize, nominees will have a chance to win first, second, and third place prizes valued at $7,500, $5,000, and $500, respectively. The brand will award 300 nominees with the third-place cash prize, as a way to celebrate even more heroes for their community service. In total, the brand will give away more than $170,000 in cash prizes throughout the contest period.

Between April and May, thousands of nominations were submitted from more than 905 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 them in celebrating these everyday heroes by voting for one of the following finalists. 

After careful consideration, Sparkling Ice named the following finalists:

  • Kay Menashe – Ozone Park, N.Y.: Menashe is dedicated to strengthening children’s education in her local community. When the local public libraries in Howard Beach and Ozone Park closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Kay stepped up and decided to set up an outdoor library in front of her home where she encouraged her neighbors to bring a book and grab a book to take home. She inspired her community to take action, as many began donating books and gift cards to help build “The Community Library.” Kay continues to evolve the neighborhood collection throughout the pandemic and now hosts events and educational activities for children, putting her energy back into her community that she loves. 
  • Michael Bayer – Ballston Lake, N.Y.: After serving his country for 25 years in the U.S. Navy, Bayer has continued his service through volunteering in his community. While many people tend to slow down after retirement, this veteran dedicates his time to the local food pantry where he collects groceries and for families in need. As a way to honor his brothers in arms, he volunteers at the local cemetery, assisting in organizing the processionals for his fellow veterans and offering support and to those visiting the cemetery. Bayer is known for always lending a helping hand and has become an integral member of the neighborhood grounds committee, where he helps with home repairs, especially to the elder residents in his community. In addition, Bayer shares his talent of singing by volunteering his time at the local children’s choir and sings on the local town community choir.
  • Ryan Dwyer – Kenmore, Wash.: Dwyer is known for his passion, leadership, and dedication to his local community. Ryan founded a nonprofit Fine Dine Front Lines (FDFL) to thank the healthcare workers that helped his 10-year-old stepdaughter through her cancer treatment. Dwyer, who has also been battling leukemia since May 2019, partners with restaurants to provide meals which he then donates to local hospitals, as a way to support the restaurant industry while also showing appreciation to local healthcare heroes. Despite his personal battles over the last few years, Dwyer has selflessly continued to deliver 15,000 free meals to essential workers throughout the 21-plus hospitals in Washington, without compensation.

Sparkling Ice fans across the country can cast their vote through the end of July at The winner will be announced Aug. 13 and the nominator of the winning hero also will receive a $500 prize.