How I Won Oprah

By Shari Stauch, C4W Board Member and author and CEO of Shark Marketing Co., marketing and PR for authors and publishers.

I’ve been watching Oprah since I was a teenager back in Chicago. True story: Dad owned a 24 hour billiard club and even all those supposed “tough guys” would gather around the club’s TV every weekday morning, 9 a.m., to watch Oprah in those early days; she was our morning cup of coffee…

25 years later and I’m still watching, albeit from 900 miles away in Charleston, SC and in a 4 p.m. time slot. So, when it finally dawned on me that this was really to be Oprah’s last season I told my friend Doretha Walker, fellow board member and current prez of Charleston’s Center for Women, “We gotta’ go!”

Doretha’s also an Oprah fan – even has a photo taken with Oprah and other Center for Women board members from when Oprah gave our cherished center a $25,000 Angel Network grant after her sold-out appearance in Charleston in 2006. (That was the year before I got on the board – shucks!)

Unfortunately, those of us truly inspired by Oprah to “give back” and “live our best lives” and start new businesses and all that jazz also “know for sure” that we’re plumb outta’ time to remember to get to Oprah.com and check on the ticket situation. When we did, it looked bleak.

Well, Friday night was the Center for Women’s 20th Anniversary Gala (huge fun!) and among ten silent auction packages – all named for women in history who amaze and inspire us – was an “Oprah!” No, it didn’t include Oprah tix or a flight up there to see all my siblings, but it was named Oprah, and that was enough for me!

Three hours later I’d secured my winning bid and my big yellow bucket packed with $1,500 worth of goodies and gift certificates, including a huge green housecleaning; a custom color/wardrobe consultation; beauty products; green household products and more! Better still, Center for Women threw one heck of a great party, and, as president-elect, I’m now so looking forward to embarking on the next 20 years, filling some monster shoes of the great women that steered us through the first 20…

Will I finally get to see Oprah this season? I don’t know… but winning Oprah, and for a great cause like Center for Women, sure felt GREAT! And as Oprah would say, “That’s what I know for sure…”

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