Thursday, September 8th was a night that brought tragedy to a community and a police force. It was the night that 38yo second deputy Marshall Ervin and deputy Jonathan Koleski where tragically killed in an ambush style attack while serving a warrant for theft in Marietta. This attack and murder of these officers hit the community very hard and drastically changed a number of lives for both men's family and friends.
One couple that this senseless attack effected deeply was Jeff and Brittany Mack who were planning on getting married a week later. Deputy Ervin was a close coworker and friend of Jeff Mack, who himself also works in law enforcement for Cobb County. They were so close that Ervin was planning on being part of the wedding as a groomsman. Brittany Mack had also become close to Ervin's wife Jodi and their daughters. When Jodi found out about the news of her husband's death on Friday morning September 9th, she was with Brittany Mack doing her final dress fitting for the wedding.
The news of course hit Jodi Ervin, Brittany and Jeff emotionally hard. Jeff and Brittany made the decision to cancel all of their wedding and honeymoon plans to give full support to their dear friends in this time of heart breaking tragedy. Brittany and Jeff, with Jodi's blessing were able to get to go through with a small ceremony including a few family and friends, but they were never able to truly celebrate the moment because of what they were all going through coping with the loss of Deputy Ervin.
Moote, Kimmie and Otis, the 94.9 The Bull morning show came up with an idea called "Renew in 2022" to allow great couples who have had to put off or change their weddings plans over the past few years due to the hardships that the past few years has presented from covid to economics. Brian Moote on the morning show had to postpone his own marriage numerous times in 2020 because of the pandemic and finally decided to get married at a court house in Dallas, TX in June of 2021. It was his experience having to find a way to navigate the hardships of the past few years that served as a launching point for the idea.
"Renew in 2022" would be an event in where 94.9 the Bull would take care of every detail of a renewal ceremony and just allow the couples and their families an opportunity to enjoy each other and get some of the memories they weren't able to have. The event was held on Sunday, Nov 13th at Whitestone Reserve in Austell, GA, with catering from G&S Catering, flowers and planning by SomeTheme Events, Chubby Cakes, photos done by Brittany Shelton and a musical performance by country artist Matt Stell.
Brittany Mack was on her way to work in mid October when she heard the morning show talking about the idea and felt that it would be an amazing opportunity for her, her husband Jeff, their family and the family of Deputy Ervin to get together and celebrate in a happier time and appreciate being together. Hear Brittany's story next...
This is what Brittany said about the event: "All during the ceremony and reception, it was amazing to see a group of 8 random families join together to celebrate their love stories through different hardships. Moote, Kimmie, and Otis made us feel like we were talking to old buddies, sharing stories and laughs. Nothing would have been better than having Marshall there with us, but this was a very close second. We know he was there with us in spirit. To say we are blessed to have been able to spend the day with everyone is an understatement. "
"It was a beautiful and crisp day in Georgia and so special to see all of these families be able to celebrate stress free and for many of them, wear the outfits that they didn't get to wear the first time and get the family photos that they didn't get. It is one of the more special radio events that I have been a part of. The part that strikes me most and reminds me how much morning radio matter is that an idea connected with someone in the audience in this special way." - Brian Moote
Country artist Matt Stell was the perfect act to drive home the meaning of the event. His number one song and the song that was all of the couple's first dance "I Prayed for You" is about the idea of not knowing who your soulmate is but every day praying that you meet them. There was not a dry eye in the house when he played the song and all of the couples got to be the focal point during their dance.
Matt Stell commented on his involvement in the event "It was really special to actually see the art that I created have such a deep and emotional impact on the people who listen to it. It's why we make music, to connect in a deep way, but you don't often get to see it in front of you. Really great event."
Renew in 2022 was one of those radio events that was designed and created to be a special event and make memories for people, but nobody on the morning show could have envisions just how special the event would be and we are all blessed to be able to help Brittany, Jeff and the Ervin family have a special day that they can look back with fondness. Their story embodied what love and support of friends and family truly is, dropping everything and setting aside personal needs to comfort and assist others going through a difficult time.
Kimmie Caruba cohost on the Bull morning show commented “My heart literally broke for these two when I first read their story. Losing Sheriff’s Deputy Ervin sent shock waves through the community, but for them it was devastating on so many levels. To know that they’re the kind of people that would choose to cancel everything they had planned, including their honeymoon, to be there for the Ervin family, is such a selfless and beautiful thing. Giving Brittany the chance she never had to wear her wedding dress and for Jeff to see his bride and celebrate each other after so much loss was something we had to make happen, without question.”
"Being able to share in a lost moment with Jeff and Brittney, knowing their story, was humbling and amazing. Don't think there is a more deserving couple and I know their best friend Marshall Irvin was smiling on them that day" - Otis
"Brittany thanked us for the opportunity to create special with her family and I would say that we at the Bull would like to thank her for letting us be a part of their special love filled story." - Brian Moote