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Saturday, July 20, 2024


Oprah Donates $220,000 to Whitesboro Scholarship Fund

By Jack Fichter

WHITESBORO — Television talk show host, magazine publisher and movie producer Oprah Winfrey, keynote speaker for the 20th Annual Whitesboro Reunion, surprised a large, enthusiastic audience Aug. 30 by promising a $220,000 donation to the scholarship fund of Concerned Citizens of Whitesboro, Inc
She called it the beginning of a $1-million donation to the scholarship fund. When Winfrey took the stage at the beginning of an almost two-hour celebration, a cheer went through the audience of abut 1,200.
Winfrey was introduced by New Jersey Secretary of State Nina Mitchell Wells, who said she was told when she took office; The best part of her job would be the people that she would meet. Wells called Winfrey a “best friend and confidant to millions.”
Winfrey said she was in Whitesboro because of her great love, respect and admiration for Stedman Graham and his great love for the town where he was raised. Oprah acknowledged Stedman’s mother, Mary Graham, for raising a wonderful family.
Winfrey said she and Stedman had many conversations about Whitesboro and what it needed.
Middle Township Mayor Nate Doughty declared Aug. 30 Stedman Graham Day earlier in the celebration.
Winfrey talked about dreaming about the impossible and executing the impossible.
She said the community should ensure children get the education African American people have fought for many year. Winfrey said too many children are “falling through the cracks because we let them.”
As a child, she said her father would drive her through the neighborhoods of rich white people. Winfrey noted there were a lot of pretty houses in Cape May County.
She said she told her father she would have that type of house later in her life.
“I could see the possible within the impossible,” said Winfrey.
She thanked her grandmother for teaching her to read Bible stories and showing her that was a life beyond their front porch in Mississippi.
Winfrey said she had just come from the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colo.
She said Barrack Obama “was the one we have been waiting for.” She said while she is normally not political, “if you don’t stand up for what you believe in, you might as well sit down and shut up.”
“Yes, we can move this county in a direction that creates a better future for every single one of us because he cares about individuals,” said Winfrey.
She told the crowd they were “worthy of the greatest from that which comes from on high.”
Winfrey said her success came from her hand being steadfast in God’s hand.
She said her morning prayer was to be used in service for that which greater than herself.
“I believe with education all things are possible but with God everything is possible,” said Winfrey.
She recited a few lines from her starring role in the movie “The Color Purple,” which brought cheers from the audience. Winfrey told how disappointed she was when we she thought she did not get the role.
After a time of prayer, she said she received a call from Steven Spielberg.
“When you have done all that you can do, don’t fight it anymore, lay it down, don’t resist it give it up to the higher power, what is to be for you, will be,” she said.
A few lucky attendees got autographs from Winfrey, who was waiting in a SUV for a friend to bring her some barbecued chicken before she left the reunion.

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