Virginia Body Shop Owner's Good Deed Gets Him on 'The Ellen DeGeneres Show' - BodyShop Business

Virginia Body Shop Owner’s Good Deed Gets Him on ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’

Richard Henegar's restoration of gay student's vandalized car captures celebrity talk show host's attention.

All Richard Henegar, Jr., wanted to do was help Jordan Addison out after the gay college student’s car was vandalized several times. But he got so much more than that after Ellen DeGeneres, an American stand-up comedian, actress and host of the syndicated talk show "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," found out about how Henegar and his staff at Quality Auto Paint & Body in Roanoke, Va., restored Addison’s car and decided to invite the pair to Hollywood to be on her show.

Three days after a news clip about Henegar’s good deed aired, “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” called and invited him and Addison out to Los Angeles. The show aired on Monday, Sept. 10.

“I never in a million years thought I would be on ‘The Ellen Show’,” Henegar said. “It’s still sinking in, it’s amazing. There are not enough positive adjectives to describe how I feel.”

Traveling to Los Angeles on Monday, Sept. 3, a week before the episode actually aired, was a whirlwind trip for both Henegar and Addison, and they were back in Roanoke by Wednesday.

“I flew out last Monday and we stayed in L.A. all day. We were right there on Hollywood Boulevard and we taped the show on Tuesday and flew back on Wednesday,” said Henegar. “It was a great experience to say the least.”

After having Henegar and Addison tell their story to the audience, including that homophobic slurs and the word “die” were carved into the car and Addison was forced to drive it around for months before Henegar fixed it because of a tight budget, Ellen presented each of them with a $25,000 check sponsored by Cover Girl. Henegar says he will put that money towards new equipment for his shop.

“We’re a family-run business, so cash flow is tight,” he said. “We don’t even have a two-post lift, but we’re going to get a couple of those to help boost morale and boost production.”

Ever since the story first hit the news, Henegar has received an overflow of positive attention worldwide. He’s still sorting through floods of emails and Facebook "likes" from those who have been touched by his story. He hopes that his actions will inspire others to do “good things for good people.” He never thought his actions would have generated such an outpouring of support from people around the world.

“I want to spread the message that bullying is unacceptable, and that discrimination of any kind isn’t cool,” he said. “The responses that we’ve gotten from the world have been incredible. It felt good helping [Addison], but everyone’s reactions have been the best part. It sounds cliché, but it just goes to show that one person really can make a difference.” 

More information:

Watch the clip from The Ellen DeGeneres show featuring Henegar and Addison

Virginia Body Shop Manager Restores Teen’s Vandalized Vehicle

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