In July of 2007, Operation of Hope Program Director Jennifer Trubenbach met face to face with Oprah Winfrey. The opportunity was as a result of a contest published in ‘O, The Oprah Magazine’ that amassed 60,000 applicants, sifted down to 50 final women.

These women shared their minds, spirit and of course e-mail addresses for five days at the 5-star Miraval Resort in Tucson, Ariz. – with all expenses paid by Oprah Winfrey.

“This was a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” said Jennifer. “I’ve been with Operation of Hope for twenty years, and I think I was chosen for that more than anything. Some of the other women had overcome horrific tragedies in their lives, and this was a way of honoring those women.”

The women were taken on outings, such as horseback riding, and also spent time in seminars with life coaches and of course daily spa treatments! Jennifer said that when she returned to her room each night, there were often wrapped gifts from Oprah, including inspirational books written by the life coaches. Jennifer recalls:

“One night, out of the blue, I was fortunate to have dinner with Oprah and five other women. It was very surreal. We had a three-hour intimate conversation about politics, what it takes to help others and everyone’s love of reading. I had to keep pinching myself under the table!”

The contest winners were featured on a recent episode of “Oprah” and were in the June, 2007 issue of “O.” Story segments about the women filmed at the spa will be used in future shows. During this time, Jennifer met Aimee Lee Ball, an “ O” magazine journalist that accompanied the Operation of Hope surgical team to Zimbabwe, Africa as a non-medical volunteer.

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