Oprah Winfrey made the day for John George, founder of the non-profit organization Motor City Blight Busters when she handed him the keys to a new 2012 VW Beetle, his first new car in 25 years.
John picked up his car on Thursday from Suburban Imports in Farmington Hills, MI and speaking of his gift he said:
“It’s been so long since I’ve had a new vehicle, or one that’s fuel-efficient, I’m just numb,” while adding, “I’m tickled pink, or tickled red, I should say.”
Oprah originally gave away VW Beatles to 275 audience members during her final “Ultimate Favorite Things” show in November. That final favorite things show was made up of community heroes who gave back to their own communities and to the people who nominated them.
According to the Detroit Free Press:
George’s niece, Kelly George of Flint, sent a nomination letter to the “Oprah” show, telling of the work her uncle does with Blight Busters, a nonprofit that razes and rebuilds abandoned properties in Detroit.
George and his niece were among six audience members from Michigan to get a Beetle. They chose from among five colors for the base-model Beetle, which begins at $18,995. The 2012 models went on sale in September.
Unlike the Pontiac G6 fiasco in 2004 which required audience members to pay taxes and fees on their expensive vehicles this time around Volkswagen agreed to pay all additional charges.
After receiving the keys to his new car George took his 88-year-old mother for a ride from the dealers lot to her condominium.