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Neighbors, Cars and Oprah


Published May 20, 2009 at 3:52 p.m.

There were smiles aplenty in the Alumni Auditorium at Champlain College yesterday as volunteers and friends of local non-profits Good News Garage and Neighborkeepers watched founder Hal Colston on The Oprah Winfrey Show.

Attendants whooped and cheered when Colston appeared on the jumbo screen, courtesy of Champlain. He explained his social service garage and its mission to create economic opportunities.

"We're getting at the root of poverty," he told Oprah, who, per-usual, had a surprise for him: 10 2008 Chevy Impalas and and a year's worth of gas for each one, all donated to Good News Garage by Hendrick Chevrolet in North Carolina — much cheering ensued inside the the auditorium. 

Colston also made a plug at the end of the program for the more recent anti-poverty program, Neighborkeepers, or "radical hospitality" as he told Ms. O. "We do with and not for," he added. 

Colston also fielded questions from those in the auditorium, who more often than not, just wanted an opportunity to acknowledged his good will.

"As a Burlington native I'd just like to say thank you for doing what you do in Burlington," one woman offered. 

The audience seemed to share that sentiment.