Oprah's Tahlequah Angel

Wednesday, September 20th 2006, 10:25 am
By: News On 6

A woman who grew up in Tahlequah has turned into one of Oprah's angels. She helped save the day for a segment that ran in Wednesday's "Oprah"

News on 6 reporter Emory Bryan says there is a street in Louisiana called Bon Jovi Boulevard - where the singer bought new homes for hurricane victims. He worked with Oprah's Angel Network to do it - and a Tahlequah native worked to make it picture perfect. Lori Hitchcock and her husband run a nursery in Oprah's hometown.

A few days before Bon Jovi was to hand over the keys to all these new houses - Oprah's people discovered the landscaping was dying - and they needed it all replaced - and fast. Lori Hitchcock: “I got a call from one of Oprah's producers and they were in a panic.”

Lori loaded a truck and drove five hours to start re-landscaping 28 homes. She had worked with the Angel Network once before on another project. "When I went I wasn't thinking I would meet Bon Jovi, my job was to get these yards cameras ready and make all the producers happy and the homeowners that are getting keys to their homes. I worked up to the minute Bon Jovi's limo pulled up, we worked until that minute, it was that close."

Lori's friend Trisha Jones grew up with her –and says she's not surprised Lori is sticking with Oprah. "And Oprah's personal assistant said this doesn't have to be over, we're getting ready to build homes all over and we need someone to do landscaping for all those homes as well.”

The Oprah show ran lots of pictures of her work and Lori says she loved the experience - of working with the Angel Network and the families who got new homes.