How one Instagram follow led to a collaboration with Middletown Township Local 124

Middletown Township Local 124 State Delegate Anthony Dellatacoma is an avid user of the Local’s Instagram page. He is always looking for local businesses to like and follow as a way of virtually engaging with the community.

“I find it very important to interact on social media,” Dellatacoma remarked. “We’re finding we can reach a larger audience by doing so.”

During one of Dellatacoma’s usual Instagram sweeps in September 2020, he came across a page for Bacon Me Strong, a brand that promotes itself as a “community of foodies and athletes working on finding that balance and bacon too,” led by owner Rod DelaRosa.

“He is really into fitness, but he likes to eat as well,” Dellatacoma explained. “He had fun posts about going on a run, and then he’d post about eating bacon. So I had to give him a follow.”

As it turned out, the Local was Bacon Me Strong’s 1,000th follower. After scanning the Local’s page, DelaRosa quickly gave them a follow back. He reached out to Dellatacoma via direct message, wanting to do something special with the Local for reaching the four-digit follower count.

“He was looking at our page and noticed we had just done the Torch Run for Special Olympics,” Dellatacoma noted. “And it just so happened he has a son that is special needs as well, so us doing the event tugged on his heartstrings.”

DelaRosa offered to make T-shirts for the officers who ran the Torch Run as a way to show his appreciation for supporting a cause near and dear to his heart. Then he met all 15 officers, including Dellatacoma, in December to present them with the T-shirts, which included the Bacon Me Strong logo on the front and “Middletown PBA Local 124” on the back.

As a collaboration with Local 124, DelaRosa posted the extra shirts on his website for sale, with a portion of the proceeds going to the Local, which will be used for community support.

Dellatacoma still keeps in touch with DelaRosa through messaging or indirectly by tagging each other on posts. The State Delegate also wants to keep DelaRosa updated with any events taking place in the Local, like the upcoming Torch Run in Middletown.

“I’m going to invite [DelaRosa] to run with us,” Dellatacoma shared. “The five miles is a little bit of a hike, but I would love for him to join us.”

Dellatacoma reiterates that it’s relationships like these that push him to be active on social media, especially when it concerns a larger cause like Special Olympics.

“We’re fortunate we’re able to make these relationships with the businesses in town,” Dellatacoma mentioned. “[DelaRosa] was a pleasure to meet, almost like a regular guy. He and I enjoyed being able to partner up and do something different together.”