It all started with a phone call. In the middle of the show, Ellen receives a call from Chris Banford, an officer with the Army National Guard, who throws the spotlight on his wife Mary, a guest who’s sitting in the audience.
He tells Ellen that he just missed their tenth wedding anniversary — and adds that it’s the first one he’s ever missed. As the crowd admires this loving husband, Chris makes a request: he’s hoping that Ellen will help him make this anniversary special, and she agrees. When Mary comes up to chat with Ellen, she springs the surprise on her: she’s getting a brand new Ford Escape.
She is immediately stunned, and in fact, it only gets better as we watch her tearful reaction to the gift and the final surprise in video below. Ellen clearly had significant backstory from Chris when she asked Mary to come up from the audience as she already knew the condition and mileage on the Banfords’ current car. The Banfords couldn’t afford to have their car repaired and, therefore, couldn’t make the 6-hour drive to visit Chris.
These giveaways are a regular feature in the Ellen DeGeneres Show, and they are often the most heartwarming segments. Ellen’s giveaways are either for the entire audience of the day (such as her 12 days of giveaways around the holiday season) or directed towards one particularly deserving person who has contributed to his or her community or family in a special way. In fact, fans can nominate a “deserving person in need” to be on the show and receive a gift from Ellen (example gifts listed include “vacation, a car, or a call from Ellen”).
After the show, the Banfords reflect backstage on what just happened, calling it “the best anniversary ever…it’s life-changing.” Mary Banford adds, “it means no more postcards counting down to when we’re going to see you, the boys are going to be so happy.”
Ellen regularly partners with large corporations like Ford
to deliver these precious moments to “deserving persons.” In this case, in gratitude for the service and sacrifice this family has made. Mary’s delight and excitement, really make this gift worthwhile. Take a look at the full clip from Ellen’s show below to see her reaction. What do you think about this couple?