TV Beaumonter wins SUV in ‘Ellen’ baseball contest
A 41-year-old Beaumont woman who “lost everything” after being laid off in 2017 was the winner of a 2019 Chevrolet Trailblazer on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.”
The episode, which was taped Wednesday at Minute Maid Park in Houston, will air today at 3 p.m. on CBS.
The segment included a game where contestants were asked to throw a baseball from the mound into the mouth of an Ellen cutout.
It took only one attempt for Sharon Russ to hit her mark, winning the vehicle.
“The whole experience was life-changing,” she said. “It’s hard to put into words. It didn’t feel like you were surrounded by a bunch of strangers. It felt like a bunch of friends just hanging out and having a good time. Then you have Ellen, who just makes the whole thing 10 times more fun.”
Although the talk show host was not physically at the Houston taping, she video-called to interact with contestants.
Russ said she hasn’t been able to bring the SUV home yet, but that it could not have come at a better time.
After losing her job in 2017, she moved from Houston to Beaumont to live with family. For a year she was without work, finally landing a job last year.
“I’ve been trying to get out of this financial hardship I’m in and to have something like this happen, it’s just amazing,” she said.
Among the other contestants was Jennifer Walsh, who made headlines last year for her Astros-themed gown that was custom-made by Lumberton seamstress Cookie Merriman. The dress was designed by Walsh for the Goose Creek CISD Education Foundation’s All-Star Gala at Minute Maid Park.
“Initially, I offered the dress to Ellen so she could help us raise money for the organization,” said Walsh, vice president of the foundation. “But she didn’t take me up on the offer. So I wore it to filming and wore it during the baseball-themed game.”
The organization is considering auctioning off the dress in hopes of raising funds to aid those still affected by Hurricane Harvey.
The Goose Creek CISD Education Foundation provided people with shoes, school supplies and beds after the storm dumped nearly 6 feet of water in Houston and surrounding areas, leaving thousands without power, homes or basic necessities.
“I love this dress. I designed it and put a lot of time into it. If I could, I would put it on display in my living room,” Walsh said. “But if it meant helping someone get back on their feet, I would give it away in a heartbeat.”