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This Week’s Inspirational Pop Culture Moments

By Amy & Nancy Harrington, Pop Culture PassionistasOne talk show host gets an uplifting birthday surprise while another finds a long lost sister, and an ex-“Bachelor” raises $100,000 for charity. Here are this week’s most inspirational pop culture moments.Ellen Basks in the Glow of the Double Dream HandsWhat do you get the talk show hostess who has everything? Well if that person is Ellen DeGeneres, a full-scale dance number will do. On Wednesday Ellen celebrated her 53rd birthday with a special surprise gift from her crew. Music teacher and Internet sensation John Jacobson led “Ellen” staffers in a rousing rendition of his infamous Double Dream Hands dance.Ellen seemed genuinely delighted by the joyful treat. But what she might not know at the time is that not only is Jacobson’s video wildly entertaining, but he’s a really great person, too.First of all the composer/choreographer has dedicated his life to teaching kids about music and dancing. He also organizes non-competitive annual singing for kids called America Sings. Rather than pitting young music enthusiasts against each other for a plastic trophy, everyone wins at Jacobson’s events. That includes the local charities that benefit from the festivals.The Double Dream Hands master’s mission is simple. In a recent interview he told us, “”I always thought that music ought to be the one place in a kid’s life they could feel 100% positive.” That’s a message worth spreading.JOHN JACOBSON ON ELLENOprah Reunites with Surprising Half-SisterSpeaking of chat show surprises, none can top the fact that Oprah revealed to the world this week that she has a half-sister. Op announced that just a few months ago she discovered her mother had given up a baby for adoption in 1963. The Queen of Daytime was just a nine-year-old girl back then but was living with her Dad and never knew that her mom was expecting.Years ago Patricia went in search of her birth mother. When she found Vernita Lee, she also learned that her big sister was a mega-star. But rather than run to the tabloids to make a quick buck, Patricia kept her secret for four years. Oprah met Patricia for the first time on Thanksgiving and then introduced her to the world on Monday. The sisters are taking their time and getting to know each other. But one thing’s for sure, Patricia has already proved to Oprah that she can be trusted.As the hostess said on her show, “”There have been few times I’ve been anywhere and I haven’t been sold out,” Winfrey said. “There have been few times where you can bring anyone new into your life and not have that person in some way betray you or use you or take advantage of you.” Apparently Patricia understands what being family is all about.‘The Bachelorette’s’ Big Success Story Honored for Charity WorkReality TV fans know him best as Trista’s big catch on season one on “The Bachelorette.” But before he was Mr. Rehn, Ryan Sutter was a pro football player for the New York Jets. Sadly that distinction only lasted one game when he suffered a season-ending injury during the kick-off. Ryan has recently taken his reality TV fame and his athletic ability and put them both to good use by raising money for charity.This past weekend, Sutter was honored by Competitor Magazine and named Celebrity Athlete of the Year at the Endurance LIVE Awards in San Diego. Over the last twelve months, Ryan has competed in ten endurance sporting events and raised $100,000 for First Descents, an organization that sends kids with cancer on outdoor adventures.Sutter completed a 24-hour bike race, the Hawaii Ironman and the New York City Marathon. And he doesn’t just finish the events, he excels. Yahoo Sports reported that he placed in the top ten percent in each competition he entered.At the awards dinner Sutter was humble saying, “I look out in the audience and see people I have so much respect for. It’s cool to be recognized at the same event as these athletes. This is what drives me.”

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