Bennett Coffey first began fundraising for St. Jude as a member of Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity at Virginia Tech. After graduating, the Kentucky native moved to St. Louis, Mo., where he explored ways to continue supporting St. Jude.
“St. Jude stuck with me from college,” Bennett, 24, said. “I knew I wanted to do what I could to help out St. Jude, and take advantage of opportunities to raise money and promote St. Jude.”
In May 2015, Bennett decided to cross off his lifetime goal of running a full marathon by signing up for the St. Jude Memphis Marathon as a St. Jude Hero, committing to raise $2,500 for the kids of St. Jude.
At his hotel the night before the race, Bennett's phone rang. It was a St. Jude representative asking if he was still at the expo. Bennett said he had already left.
“If it's something big, can you come back?” he was asked.
Waiting for him at the expo was the announcement that he'd won a new Ford Explorer donated by Landers Ford of Memphis. He was stunned; he'd forgotten his early registration had made him eligible for the giveaway.
Bennett said his marathon experience "was an excellent opportunity to raise money for St. Jude, and keep promoting the great organization that St. Jude is.” Raising funds for St. Jude kids was reward enough for him, but a new car was an unexpected bonus.