Sugarlands Distilling Company will be sending a group of American Heroes to the Talladega Superspeedway for the weekend of the Sugarlands Shine 250.

Here's a little background on the contest: Sugarlands asked the public to nominate individuals they look up to and view as heroes. This group of individuals included veterans who served beside one another, a group of hometown firefighters who work day in and day out to keep their communities safe, and military spouses who have held down the fort at home. We're saving our votes, though, for two of our favorite SouthCoast heroes.

Rosemary Heath and her late husband, George Heath, were both nominated as American Heroes and they just became finalists. George, a Greater New Bedford Voc-Tech teacher, passed away in 2016 after saving the life of a pregnant waitress at the Silver City Galleria Bertucci's restaurant. While Rosemary honored her husband by donating a kidney to someone in need, she also went ahead and nominated Lieutenant Creed, who shot and killed the attacker.

A voting period will take place between now and June 24, and the winner will be announced on the weekend of the Coke Zero Sugar 400 at the Daytona International Speedway. If they win, their whole group and their families will have an opportunity to travel to Gaitlinburg for the Talladega 250. They will be honored by NASCAR with VIP treatment as part of the 50th-anniversary celebration and Salute to American Heroes.

Heath told me, "I'm so excited, I'm gonna burst!" She also said, "It's amazing to keep George's name alive as well as Lt. Creed and Laura. They are my heroes."

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