Yesterday evening, the Chicago United Center played host for the taping of “The Oprah Winfrey Show’s” final two episiodes. The 57-year-old is ending her syndicated national talk show next Monday and Tuesday after 25 years on the air.
Over 20,000 screaming (and crying) fans, joined by a long list of celebrities, honored Winfrey during the four hour event. There were songs, reunions, and plenty of gifts – but it was Diane Sawyer’s present that will likely endure well beyond our own lifetimes.
When the “ABC World News” anchor came on stage, USA Today reports that a huge tree of lights sprouted up in the middle of the arena. “That is ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show’,” she said. “I want you to know in honor of your 25 seasons, in front of those 25 new libraries, there will be a giant tree – an oak tree, an Oprah tree, standing and inviting children to bring their books and hopes and fears and know that you are there to embrace them.”
Those libraries Sawyer mentioned were another surprise gift that John Legend and Target partnered on. In honor of her 25 seasons, 25 libraries will be built and stocked with books courtesy of Target. It’s not yet clear if those 25 oaks will be of the full size variety (read: transplanted) or saplings. She did, however, add this awesome detail:
“Not just 25 trees! We are going to plant across this country, 25,000 oak trees for Oprah.”
Love it. Watch for “Oprah Oaks” to become the next hot thing in gardening.