SANTA BARBARA ( — It’s being called the chance of a lifetime for Oprah Winfrey fans. This Saturday, they’ll get a chance to own a piece of the TV legend.

Winfrey is auctioning off items (furniture, keepsakes, autographs, electric bikes, light fixtures, workout equipment, art, furnishings) from some of her homes, including residences in Indiana, Hawaii, Santa Barbara and Chicago.

She even made a surprise visit to the auction site — the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club in Carpinteria — Thursday during a preview.

“I definitely didn’t expect to see her here today,” said one fan.

“We think she is terrific, so we are happy to be here,” said another.

Cheryl and Ed Freeman of Simi Valley were among the dozens of fans who came to check out the items up for sale.

“It’s interesting stuff,” said Ed. “Some of the things won’t work for everyone, that’s for sure. But we saw a lot of really nice art pieces.”

“What’s nice about this collection is that there are items for the person who wants to buy something for $100 or $200 and there are items you can spend $20,000 to $50,000 for,” said Frank Kaminski, president and CEO of Kaminski Auctions.

“There is quite a variety of items here,” he added. “That was the whole idea of what she wanted. That was the idea of this yard sale — it’s quite a yard sale.”

Johnson reported that many of the items are very personal to Winfrey — including hand-painted portraits and a painting from her starring role in “The Women of Brewster Place.”

“When I had my first meeting with her,” says Kaminski, “I made some suggestions. I asked her to check storage facilities to see if there were items given to her over the years that you might want your fans to have.”

All of the proceeds of the auction and yard sale will go to the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy Foundation College Fund.

The auction kicks off Saturday at 10 a.m. For more about the auction, go to the Kaminski Auctions website.


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