Two women receive VWs from Oprah

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“The Oprah Winfrey Show” went off the air in May, but the program was immensely popular and widely remembered, particularly the episode in which everybody got a car.

The show repeated the giveaway theme for years afterward.

Last November, two area women were in the audience. And yes, they did each get a car, a 2012 Volkwagen Beetle, delivered last week when the new model became available.

An Ocean City woman nominated her friend, Josie Chivallette of Galloway, as a hero on the show’s website, saying she had never met anyone who had faced so much hardship.

According to a press release, Chivallette, a member of Gilda’s Club, is leading a life forever changed by cancer.

After losing her husband and daughter, she is now fighting her own battle with breast cancer. But Chivallette has befriended many others whose lives have been touched by the illness.

The friend, Chrissy DeGennaro, shared Chivallette’s story, nominating her as a hero for a chance to win a seat in the audience.

“One late night … I was on Oprah’s website. It asked if you had a hero or knew somebody with an amazing story. Well, Josie was the first person who came to mind,” DeGennaro said.

“I just knew I had to write in about her. I had never met somebody who had gone through so much and had so much peace and love in their heart. I wanted the world to know about Josie,” she continued. “In the course of a year this woman lost her sister, brother-in-law, 39-year-old daughter, her husband, and was diagnosed with an aggressive breast cancer.”

Chivallette is battling the same cancer that struck her daughter. Soon after being diagnosed, she also lost her home in a fire. The family just rebuilt the house this past year.

A few days before the taping, show representatives contacted DeGennaro to ask her and Chivallette to attend the show. When they arrived at the studio, they were surprised to learn that they would be part of Oprah’s “Favorite Things” giveaway episode.

Among the gifts given away by Oprah were sequined Uggs, a Coach bag, diamond earrings and an iPad.

The Volkswagen Beetles were presented to Chivallette and DeGennaro Thursday, Oct. 13 at Atlantic Volkswagen on Tilton Road in Egg Harbor Township.


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