San Diego couple’s good deed earns surprise from Ellen show


Little did San Diegan Maura Gonsalves know that a simple act of kindness would land her on national TV.

She and her fiancee, Noah Copeland, who is in the Navy, had to cancel their long-planned vacation to Puerto Rico when the island was devastated by Hurricane Maria.

Instead of going elsewhere, though, they donated their vacation money to the fund set up by Ricky Martin to aid Puerto Rico victims.

This came to the attention of Gonsalves’ favorite talk show host, Ellen DeGeneres, when Copeland, away on one-year Navy deployment, contacted producers. He asked for tickets to Ellen’s special birthday show for his girlfriend.

Instead, she got two tickets to the Jan. 25 show and was in the audience Thursday when Ellen shared the couple’s story and surprised Gonsalves by calling her up to chat.

After Gonsalves said she had no idea when she would see her boyfriend again, given the federal government shutdown, Ellen called his name. He walked out on stage holding two tickets to Ellen’s upcoming birthday show.

After the couple’s emotional reunion, Ellen gave Gonsalves a gift — a six-night stay at the Koa Kea Resort in Hawaii. She can bring Copeland along if she wants, Ellen quipped.


Read Diane Bell’s full column here.