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Highlights from Season 1 Oprah's Big Give - Episode 3 Recap


Original Air Date:

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Episode 3 - "Pass or Fail":

At the start of the show, the 8 contestants were given 5 seconds by Nate to break into teams of 4. The first team was Stephen, Eric, Cameron and Brandi - who have worked together in the past and Sheg, Carlana, Kim and Rachael. Once the teams were formed, they chose one of 2 boxes. Sheg, Carlana, Rachael and Kim chose the box with a tennis racket inside with the mission "Field of Dreams" written on it. Stephen, Eric, Cameron and Brandi chose the box with "Forgotten Christmas" written on a skateboard.

The teams soon learned that they would have the help of a celebrity to pull of their big give. Team Field of Dreams was to be helped by tennis star Andre Agassi, while team Forgotten Christmas would have the assistance of pro skateboarder Tony Hawk. Each team was given $1,000 and 4 days to organize their events that would benefit 2 Houston elementary schools.

Team Forgotten Christmas' Big Give Plan:

Team Forgotten Christmas headed to Velasco Elementary School where they met with volunteers Kay Heath and Kay Cole who described how a majority of the students come from disadvantaged homes where Christmas is not possible. The volunteers dreamed of an ultimate Christmas surprise where all of the children were able to get a gift, see Santa and maybe even a fire truck.

Team FC got to work to make Christmas possible for 620 kids - they called Target to organize gifts for all of the children and received a call from Tony Hawk who shared that he would help organize an event for Sunday afternoon, the day before the reveal.

Team Field of Dreams' Big Give Plan:

Team Field of Dreams was given the story of Geraldine Sam, a teacher at the Simms Elementary School whose dream is to get a playground for the students. The principal of the school and team FD surprised Geraldine with the news of the big give - with 90% of the kids coming from disadvantaged homes, the team was motivated to pull of their biggest give yet.

Team FD received a call from tennis star Andre Agassi who shared that he would organize a fundraiser at a tennis event being held at the area - Andre explained that he had been doing this type of work for 12 years and could get thousands out to help.

Team Forgotten Christmas:

Stephen, Eric, Brandi and Cameron got to work finding a Santa for the event, getting snow, elves and goodies to surprise the children. The team continued to work on getting toys for all the children and even purchased decorations and a tree.

The team used Tony's connections and were able to head to Toys 'R' Us for a shopping spree to get a toy for every child. Stephen, Brandi, Eric and Cameron met with Tony at Target where they picked age appropriate toys and organized them onto trucks.

The skateboarding event with Tony Hawk for the community and kids from the school was uplifting and exciting - but not very successful. The team asked for donations and did receive some cash and toys but didn't use the event to raise as much money as they could or use Tony's skills as well as they could have.

Team Field of Dreams:

A friend of Andre's, Linda, wanted to get involved and help with the fundraising. While Linda got to work on the phones, the team wasted an hour trying to talk about their lack of teamwork and didn't solve any of their problems.

The team headed to Simms Elementary where they were given a walk through of the school. With dated computers, a number of break-ins and no place for the children to play, the school needed help.

While at the school planning the event, former President George Bush and former Houston Rocket Carlos Rogers stopped by to help. The team was enthusiastic, but depended on Linda to do their work.

The tennis event at Westside Tennis Club was a televised match and the team was given just 30 minutes to raise money from the crowd. Over 200 kids from Simms Elementary were bussed in to see the fundraiser and meet with Andre and his wife Steffi Graf. Andre started off by auctioning off a package trip to Las Vegas where the recipient would get a tennis lesson from Andre and Steffi. When the bid reached $75,000, Andre offered the 2 men bidding to drop to $70,000 and they each could get the package - and the men agreed! The children also walked through the stands collecting cash in boxes to add to the total.

The Big Give Big Reveals and Judging:

Team Forgotten Christmas: Team FC planned a huge Christmas event at the school where Santa arrived in a helicopter! The gym was transformed into a Winter Wonderland with decorations, wrapped presents for all of the kids, elves, Santa and Christmas trees. After all of the children were brought into the room, a wall was opened to reveal the Christmas scene! The children were given their gifts from Santa and Mrs. Clause and all waited patiently to open their presents until every child had one in their hands. The school was also given 2 new color copiers and a new plasma TV!

Team Forgotten Christmas was able to raise over $180,000 in gifts and cash, but the biggest reward was seeing the expression on the kids faces during their Christmas event. The judges felt the team did a good job, but could have used Tony's skills better.

Team Field of Dreams: Team FD revealed their big give at the school - after raising $210,000 at the event, they were able to make a world of difference at Simms Elementary. The school was presented with 50 new HP computers and a playground from Playgrounds of Pearland which was already assembled and ready for the children to play!

In judging, team Field of Dreams was labeled a team by default because it was evident that they were thrown together not by choice. While the team raised $570,000, it was their poor communication and team work that make them stand out. The judges felt that they way they worked together overshadowed the positive work they accomplished.

Contestant Eliminated: Carlana

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  6. Sunday, March 16, 2008 Big Give Recap - Highlights from Season 1 Oprah's Big Give - Episode 3 Recap

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