LAKEWOOD, Ohio — Editor's note: The video in the player above is from a story published on June 30, 2020.
About a year ago, we introduced you to a local couple trying to meet their goal of traveling to all 50 states. But before they could finish their mission, the COVID-19 pandemic stopped them, with just one state left to go.
Mary Wills and Mac Kelly had planned to travel to Hawaii on their honeymoon before the pandemic hit in March 2020.
Since then, the Lakewood couple has married and begun to look toward the future. We met up with them recently to check-in, but they had no idea what we had up our sleeves.
"We canceled our reception. We ended up just getting married at a park in the town I grew up in, which is Perry," Mary said, describing how 2020 had upended more than just travel plans, but also the couple's wedding.
And while they made improvised "their thing" when it came to a wedding, the couple has quickly jumped into married life and investing in the home they recently purchased.
"So basically every weekend, over the past year, we've just been working on the house: Installing a new floor last week, painting, fixing drywall issues, other things like that," Mac told us.
After a quick chat, we clued them in that our meeting wasn't what it seemed, and that some companies have been paying attention to their story. Then, we showed them a video sent by Southwest Rapid Rewards:
“Hi, Mary and Mac. I'm Julia Ashworth, general manager for Southwest Rapid Rewards, credit cards and Chase. We heard that 2020, not only got in the way of your wedding and honeymoon plans, but also disrupted your goal of visiting all 50 states. So on behalf of chase and Southwest, we're excited to help you make your trip a reality. Whenever you're ready to travel, to help you get started, and, on your way to your final state of Hawaii, we're giving you 100,000 Southwest Rapid Rewards points, A-list status, and Southwest's coveted companion pass through the end of 2022. We hope these benefits help you make wonderful memories whenever and wherever you decide to go. All the best.”
"Oh wow. That's amazing. Thank you. This is amazing and definitely going to enable us to really make the most of this trip. I'm just really surprised. I'm really grateful. Thank you so much," Mac said, shocked.
Mary, with gratitude, said, "Thank you. We've had to make a lot of compromises with our wedding and I think everybody has made a lot of compromises in 2020."
Come this fall, Mac and Mary will have traveled to all 50 states. They are forever couple on the road, and right here at home ... in love.