University City

Rose of Thanks raising money to send veterans, families to see Katy Perry

The goal of University City-based A Rose of Thanks is to send cards, personalized by family and friends, to soldiers. But the group also tries to make soldiers’ dreams come true.

A Rose of Thanks founder and University City resident Matthew Hunt has been collaborating with singer Katy Perry’s management to get good seats for soldiers to see Perry’s Oct. 11 show in Houston.

In January, Stars and Stripes magazine wrote about the ticket giveaway.

“When Stars and Stripes picked up our article, we were giving away two tickets,” Hunt said. “But now, the list has grown to 12.”

The guest list started growing when Hunt received a request from veteran Ross Cox in Abilene, Texas, asking that Jason Grubb, a friend and soldier who also lives in Texas, attend Perry’s concert, Hunt said.

Cox said Grubb, who was deployed in Afghanistan earlier this year, is such a huge fan of Perry’s he named his truck Katy, Hunt said.

Hunt invited Grubb and his family to attend the show. Hunt invited Cox and his family, as well, putting the number of people who will attend the concert to 12, Hunt said. Hunt, who also plans to attend, said he will take the group out to dinner before.

To pay for the tickets, A Rose of Thanks is accepting donations on its Go Fund Me page.

“We’re doing this because we believe in Katy’s message,” Hunt said. “Her saying is, ‘Let the Light In,’ and I want to help share that (positive message).”

Hunt, who is also a veteran, founded A Rose of Thanks eight years ago, after he was robbed at gunpoint in Charlotte for the second time in nine months. While working as a Domino’s delivery man, Hunt was approached by a man who told him to empty his pockets and hand over the keys to his Mustang.

“I lost my money and my car that night, but I still had my life,” Hunt said, “With that, I decided I wanted to give to others.”

Hunt’s organization has touched thousands of lives with more than 40,000 cards and 100 care packages sent to troops, Hunt said.

“It’s not rocket science to make a difference.”