The Friendship that Inspired
The Re:JOY Project
The Story of Jeff
To Know Him, Was to Love Him.
To Love Him, Was to Be Loved by Him.
To Be Loved by Him, Was to Know Pure JOY.
Jeff and I were each other’s first friend. I had “a Jeffrey” five years before I had a sibling. When our parents had to describe our relationship to an outsider, the catch phrase was “these two were in diapers together.” So I may not be THE authority on all things Jeff, but I certainly am AN authority on them.
Jeff was someone who can only be described using superlatives; he was the most this or the best that and I could add any number of subsequent descriptors to paint a vivid picture of who he was. For the purposes of understanding how he inspired The Re:JOY Project, you simply need to know that he was
an extraordinary human being.
He was a maker of countless smiles and endless laughter. He gave of himself and his time freely and without want for adulation. He could cajole the stiffest party-goer to let loose on the dance floor and the most serious to laugh at themself. He was the master of his own circus and held sway over the crowd, not because he sought the spotlight, but because he made it his business to see that everyone in his company was having a good time...ALWAYS. Jeff’s craft was JOY, the making and the spreading of it, and I know no one better at it than he was.
There is no telling how different I would be if Jeff had not been my first friend in this world. I am a better person for having known him and now, I want to be a better person for having lost him. And I am sure he has inspired others to do the same.
Jeffrey Drew Bennett
6.3.75 - 12.7.20
"...he was one of the most caring, fun, loving, and big-hearted people I have ever or probably will ever meet...I looked up to him and valued the interest he always took in me...He was truly the best! I hope everyone can find a way to apply Jeff's outlook on life to their own."