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Oprah Beetle Winners Cruise Back Into Chicago

Oprah Beetle Winners Cruise Back Into Chicago

Sixty Volkswagen Beetle Recipients Reunite to Perform Acts of Kindness in Celebration of the Beetle Giveaway From the "Ultimate Favorite Things" Episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in 2010

HERNDON, VA -- (Marketwire) -- 11/08/12 -- Volkswagen of America (VWoA) is pleased to support a dedicated group of sixty proud 2012 Beetle owners who are returning to Chicago this weekend to donate their time and services to Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago and the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center.

Nearly two years after Oprah Winfrey surprised them with the keys to an automotive icon on her show, the Volkswagen Beetle winners continue to be a tightly knit group. More than 100 of the 315 recipients joined a Facebook group with the intention of collectively taking their good fortune and paying it forward.

"The Volkswagen Beetle arrived during an especially trying time for many of us," said Kristy Cikowski, 2012 Beetle recipient and teacher at River Valley School in Lemont, IL. "We may not be able to donate a car or a million dollars, but we can donate our time and our smiles to some of those people who are struggling out there. As a group, we understand just how touching it can be when somebody lends you a hand."

This Friday, the volunteers will load more than fifty care packages into a fleet of Volkswagen Beetles, all headed to a pajama party in the oncology wing of Lurie Children's. After delivering the backpacks filled with donated toys and books, the group will settle in to help the kids decorate pillowcases, play board games with them, and read to them during story time.

The acts of kindness will continue Saturday as the volunteers deliver much needed supplies to the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center. From winter hats to toothpaste, the group will provide requested essentials to help comfort the recovering veterans.

In addition to the scheduled hospital visits, the volunteers will break into smaller groups each afternoon to perform random acts of kindness throughout the city.

Inspired by the generosity of the Beetle giveaway recipients, Volkswagen of America will also donate $2500 each to Lurie Children's and the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center.

"We couldn't be happier to see that the 2012 Beetle has inspired our fans to pay it forward," said Tim Mahoney, Chief Product and Marketing Officer, Volkswagen of America. "We have always applauded the generosity and enthusiasm of our fans and with activities like this, their drive to make a difference never ceases to make us proud."

Follow the action on Volkswagen's Twitter and Facebook channels with #VWPayItForward.

About Volkswagen of America, Inc. Founded in 1955, Volkswagen of America, Inc. is headquartered in Herndon, Virginia. It is a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany. Volkswagen's operations in the United States include research and development, parts and vehicle processing, parts distribution centers, sales, marketing and service offices, financial service centers, and its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Volkswagen is one of the world's largest producers of passenger cars and Europe's largest automaker. Volkswagen sells the Beetle, Eos, Golf, Golf R, GTI, Jetta, Jetta SportWagen, Passat, CC, Tiguan, Touareg and Routan vehicles through approximately 600 independent U.S. dealers. Visit Volkswagen of America online at or to learn more.

CONTACT: Scott Vazin 703-364-7103

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