Citizen Spotlight: a local man's mission to buy every veteran a beer
(February 10, 2023 - Blue Ash)
The Blue Ash Citizen Spotlight is a series of stories, photos, and videos about you – the people who live, work and play in Blue Ash. You’ll get to know your neighbors as they tell their stories about their lives in Blue Ash and why they love it here. This Citizen Spotlight features Matt DeMaris. He was nominated for his desire to bring joy to veterans and his love of Blue Ash and the community. Watch Matt’s story by clicking the video above or click here to view on YouTube. If you want to be showcased in the next Citizen Spotlight, or if you would like to nominate someone, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
“I really love being part of the community. I love helping people.”
Blue Ash resident Matt DeMaris works in real estate by day. By night, he is spreading cheer to veterans.
“That’s been my goal in life: chase happiness and help people out in life,” said DeMaris. “I think you end up in a good space if you do that.”
He and a friend wanted to do something to give back to veterans. They came up with the idea to buy them a beer and brought VETS & BREWS to life.
People can stop by a participating brewery’s donation box or use a QR code to donate $10 to buy a veteran a beer.
He enjoys seeing the happiness on veterans’ faces.
“It’s awesome,” he said. “They trip out. They’re like, ‘thank you so much, this is so cool!’”
Plus, the funds do more than buy a brew.
“The four or five bucks left over go to a group called Operation Honor in Northern Kentucky. They handcraft the burial flag boxes that are supplied to Arlington National Cemetery,” DeMaris said.
He said he’s found a community with veterans and also in his neighborhood, Hazelwood.
“It’s a small-town feel. It’s how I grew up, so we loved it as soon as we got there,” said DeMaris. “We’ll be there forever.”
He said the amenities Blue Ash provides are amazing – especially the Recreation Center.
“I go there four or five times a week. I love it!”
As for VETS & BREWS, it is becoming a regional phenomenon. He just partnered with Fretboard Brewing and sees a bright future ahead.
“I think it has legs and so my goal is to buy every veteran in the country a beer,” DeMaris said. “Once we’ve done that, we’ll go for round two!”