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The Oprah Heroes Show

What Happened After The Show

After the show ended, there was a lot of happy people in the audience, including Oprah who had come off the stage and was laughing and carrying on with the rest of us.

She said that she knew there were people who needed to catch planes, but that there was legal stuff that had to be done before we could go. She asked her assistant to help get everyone in groups starting off with who needed to leave first. There were some women from Florida who had already missed their flights, and needed to get to the airport in order to reschedule. They were the first to leave the studio.

Oprah also said that they had Fed Ex right up the street that was open for any of us who needed to have our items shipped. I really had no idea what I was going to do with my stuff at that point, because I had to leave very early in the morning to catch my plane. I asked Barb if she would ship my items to me, and she said of course.

Oprah posed for some photos with some of the audience members, then she said good-bye to all of us, and exited the stage.

A woman and a man came out who were introduced as Oprah's accountants. They went up on the stage and the man said, "We know that it would be hard for some of you to pay taxes on your gifts, so we are going to take care of that for you. You will receive a voucher for this year and one for next year for the car!"

We were all really shocked by this, and I wondered just how much the taxes would be on all those gifts, plus a brand new car for around 300 people?

Oprah's assistant started asking what time people needed to leave, and everyone got into groups starting with the ones that needed to get to the airport right away.

After everyone who needed to catch flights left the studio, we were organized into groups to leave. We went out of the main studio door and into the security area, where there were lots of Oprah staff who were helping us with our coat and bag check tickets. Barb and I got our purses returned, then we were handed more paperwork on clipboards to fill out. We were then funneled down a hallway that had lots of huge photos of different Oprah Shows. I noticed a photo of the show where she had given away the cars a few years back--so many happy audience members in that shot for sure!

We then went out a glass door, turned left and went outside and around the side of the building. It was dark by then, and we were quickly escorted into the garage area. Right outside the garage door, I noticed that there was an ambulance set up there with a full staff of paramedics. They had been there all day in case someone had a heart attack from the excitement of the Favorite Things show!

When we got into the garage area, it was really huge. There were a lot of long fold-out tables set up end-to-end on the far wall to our right, and to get to those tables we had to line up and go through the ropes again, like at an amusement park.

When I entered the building, there was background music being played pretty loud--some kind of piano solo. We were all trying to fill out our paperwork, and being hurried along through the ropes to get to the people at the tables on the wall. I filled out my paperwork which had information concerning my driving record, address, Social Security Number, some tax-related forms, and several nondisclosure statements. We had a form from VW where we had to pick a color for our cars. We were given the option of Red, Yellow, Light Blue or Silver. Since there were no photos of the cars and the colors they would be, I couldn't make up my mind, so I checked the boxes for Light Blue and Silver.

After I was done with the paperwork, I took a look around at everyone in the room--over 300 people including the staff and the audience members. The audience members were all moving slowly through the ropes, and occasionally I'd catch the eye of someone who had also finished her paperwork. I'd smile really big and ask questions like, "Did you just win a CAR!!!!???" Most of the people would just nod with a dazed look. By that time, everyone I spoke with seemed blown-out to me, because it was really a mind blowing day.

There was a married couple behind me, and I asked the man, "Did you both just win cars????"

He started laughing and replied "Yeah! Yeah we DID!"

It turned out that his wife had been nominated for the Heroes Show, and had flown in from her children's home in Colorado to attend the show. She had recently lost her job, and her car had been repossessed! What a gift to them both to be at the Oprah's Favorite Things show that day!

When we finally made it to the area where the tables were lined up, we had to hand in our paperwork. The first table was the VW people. Everyone was saying congratulations and smiling. They were all really helpful and took the paperwork that they needed for their area. They had several copy machines set up behind them, and we were given packets with little round disks that had ID numbers attached to them for each one of our cars. The packet had information about the website where we could all login to get updates on the status of the cars for the next 10 months or so. These cars are 2012 models, so they will not be released to us until September or October of 2011.

Next, we had to go through the tax people. There were tax accountants there to make sure that we all had our paper work filled out correctly. I asked them to make sure that they could read my writing. It's not the best to begin with, and then I had to write on a clipboard while walking made it even more illegible. There was an issue with my paperwork, because the tax form had asked for my business name, and of course I filled it out. We had to change that to my personal name for some reason, so it's good that the accountants were there, or I may have screwed something up for myself big time.

After all the paperwork was handed in, there were two women who were handing out big Oprah's Favorite Things bags. They asked me what color Coach Purse I wanted, and I went for the tan one. Once we got out of the roped off areas, there was several more women on the other side of the room who stopped us and put our Favorite Things Bags into brown paper bags. They explained that it was too dangerous to be walking in downtown Chicago and advertising that we had merchandise from the Favorite Things Show. I had no idea what was in our bags at that time, but I was told that the majority of everything we won was in gift certificate form.

Barb and I then went out of the building and there were police and security guards everywhere. I told Barb I wanted to get a photo of us in front of the Oprah sign, and we started walking down the side of the building towards it. A police officer stopped us and asked where we were going. I told him we wanted to get a photo of us in front of the sign. He said for us to go no further than that because he would keep an eye on us while we were doing this. He warned us not to walk around the other side of the building and to come back to him after we were done taking the photo.

Barb and I quickly walked down there, and took a few photos. I was hoping they would come out as it was really dark by then. There were some women who came up and volunteered to take our pictures. They kept asking us what was in our bags, but because of the nondisclosure statements we had signed, we could not tell them anything about the exciting time we had at Harpo Studios that day.

October 13 , 2011
Read about what happened the day we picked up the new 2012 Beetle!

Barb and I after our amazing day at the Oprah WInfrey Show

Fun things that have happened since the show

November 24, 2010
On November 24, a lovely black woman come to our front door wearing the uniform of a well-known shipping company.

"So how are you doing today?" she asks as I walk out to sign for the package I'd been waiting on all morning.

"Really great, considering you are delivering a package from the Oprah Winfrey Show--"

"Ohhh, I LOVE Oprah! Are these tickets to the show--are you going?"

"I already went--last week. What you are delivering is the paperwork for the car I won while I was there!"

Her eyes got really big, and then she said "WHAT? How did you WIN a car?"

"I run a online support group for women, and around 8 members nominated me for the Oprah Heroes Show."

"So Oprah gave you a car for being a hero?"

"Yes, me and around 300 other people that were at the Heroes Show too--"


"Yeah, a 2012 VW Beetle--"


"Yeah we all won one, and a whole lot more. Oprah played a prank on us, and the heroes show was also the Oprah Favorite Things Show--"

"FAVORITE THINGS!!! YOU WERE ON OPRAH'S FAVORITE THINGS!" This woman got so excited she's about yelling on our front porch, and then she became serious and leans in toward me and nearly whispers, "So how are you with cuss words?"

"Ah, Fine?"

"GET THE F%#! OUT!" she yells. "You were on the Oprah's Favorite Things show and you won A DAMN CAR????"


"So let me get this right, you run an online support group and your members nominated you?"


"What's the support group for?"

"Women who are coming out--"

"Oh my gosh! That IS IMPORTANT work!"

"Yeah, we've got members from all over the world--even from Africa and other countries where coming out could get you killed--"

"Or WORSE! WAIT, WAIT, I gotta tell my friend on the phone!" She starts talking on the phone thing that's on the side of her head, and her friends name is TRACEY--WEIRD!!! The delivery person is wanting to go over what we said for her friend's benefit.

"Hey Tracy, I'm standing here with a woman--"

She excitedly glances at the package, and then I say, "My name is Tracey too--"

"REALLY? COOOOL! I'm standing here with a woman, also named Tracey, that was on the Oprah's Favorite Things Show YESTERDAY and she won a CAR!!! YEAH--A BEETLE! YEAH!" and then she looks at me, "So if you were on Oprah's Favorite Things, did you get other stuff too????"

"Yeah--we got an IPad--"


"And some really nice Le Creuset Cookware--"


"And $1,000 worth of Nordstrom underwear--Like what am I gonna do with that?"

"I'll tell you what you can do with it! You can give ME those fine panties, OK???" She started jumping around on our porch, and we were both laughing hard. Then she settled down again, and walked over and said, "Let me shake your hand for the good work that you do!" She grabbed my hand and pumped it up and down a couple of times. "I know how important the work you are doing is, because to tell you the truth, I'm a gay woman too!"

"Then you need to get on out to my website!" I tell her that it's Amazing Dreams Publishing, and she writes it down, and then she tells me congratulations again.

As she's walking down the stairs towards her delivery truck, I can hear her talking to her GF and saying,
"I am so DAMN EXCITED!!!!"

Too funny, and it really made my day and her day too.

One thing Kathy and I noticed was how full of joy people get when you tell them what I told the delivery person that day. When you see people become so happy that someone else they have met came into a bit of goodness, it really warms the heart : )

December 9, 2010
An interesting thing that happened around a month after the show: during the Favorite Things taping we were all given these really great croissants to eat, and we were also supposed to get them as part of Favorite Things. Most everything we got that day was in gift certificate form, but there was not one for the croissants. I asked Barb if she had gotten a gift certificate for the croissants, and she had not received one either. We figured that for some reason they had gotten left out of our Favorite Things bags. Of course, everyone I know who saw the show wanted one of those yummy croissants, but I sure as heck wasn't going to complain to Oprah that I hadn't gotten my gift certificate for them.

Almost a month after the taping, I received an Email from UPS. Those missing croissants were being overnighted to my home address, and they came the next day on dry ice! Can you imagine how much it would cost to overnight around 300 boxes of frozen croissants to all the audience members? All I can say is that Oprah and her staff are truly amazing!

October 13 , 2011
Read about what happened the day we picked up the new 2012 Beetle!

Links that Volkswagen has sent for the 2012 Beetle:

SuperBowl Black Beetle Commercial:

Making of the Black Beetle SuperBowl Commercial:

The Oprah Heroes/Favorite Things Show:

Search Amazing Dreams Publishing:

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Gay, Bisexual and Questioning Women
PO Box 1811, Asheville, NC 28802





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