Ellen Breland of Chattanooga received news on Sunday that would change her life. She is the winner of the 2013 St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway in Chattanooga, which is a 3,000-square-foot, single family home built by G.T. Issa Construction in the Hawks Landing subdivision of Apison. The winning ticket was pulled from 7,000 tickets during the live St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway special on WRCB Channel 3.
Ms. Breland and her husband, John Henry were in awe as they saw their brand-new Dream Home for the first time. Just hours before, Ms. Breland received a call from a St. Jude representative telling her she had won the 2013 St. Jude Dream Home. She said, "I was at home all by myself and didn't have a clue. She told me I won the home and I couldn’t believe it. My phone kept beeping while I was talking to her because everybody was trying to call me, and it's been crazy ever since."
Ms. Breland explained it was a tradition to purchase the ticket every year with her mother-in-law, Henrietta Breland, who died of cancer last September. Henrietta was a longtime St. Jude supporter and made a request before her passing. "She told everybody 'don't buy flowers, make a donation to St. Jude'," said Mr. Breland.
Not only does the St. Jude Dream Home with an estimated value of $350,000 benefit the new homeowner, but also the children of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital who are battling cancer and other deadly diseases.
Ms. Breland said, “It’s the children of St. Jude who are the real winners. It's not about what you get out of it, it's what you give. It's not about this house, it's not about anything. It's about those little kids"
Since the St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway launched in 1991, St. Jude has given away more than 300 houses and raised more than $240 million in ticket sales, making it the largest single-event fundraiser for the hospital. It’s because of programs like this that no family ever pays St. Jude for anything, and St. Jude covers the cost of treatment, travel, lodging and food for our patients and a family member.
For a complete list of winners and prizes, call 800 750-6962 or visit dreamhome.org.