Keith Caputo, the 39-year-old founder of the nonprofit Helping Makes U Happy who’s known for, well, making people happy through volunteering, had his own dream come true last week when the community came out for him in a big way.
Caputo has long wanted to appear on the “Ellen DeGeneres Show” and dance with her.
Thanks to the support of the local community, which sent more than 5,000 letters to DeGeneres, he and his mother, Cassy, were invited as audience guests on Tuesday, where they were given VIP treatment and sat three rows up from dancer and DJ Stephen “tWitch” Boss.
“In between takes, they let him dance in the aisles, and everyone was calling his name,” said Cassy Caputo. “I was concerned that once you got Keith starting we were never leaving.”
Keith at first was disappointed that he didn’t get to meet DeGeneres, but given the timing — the show has now stopped production entirely for the next month or so — he feels fortunate to have gotten the chance to go when he did.
“It was still an amazing adventure,” Cassy Caputo said.
Caputo left a packaged of gifts, including a $1,000 check for the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, which is near DeGeneres’ heart, as well as some Helping Makes U Happy T-shirts. And He was assured by producers that DeGeneres knew he was there.
Caputo stayed for three tapings. They included guests Reese Witherspoon, the Dixie Chicks and UCLA gymnasts. And he, like everyone in the audience, received two tickets to a future Dixie Chicks show. He may decide to auction them off.
Keith Caputo said he would go again if invited.
Cassy Caputo added: “Let the coronavirus go away and you never know what the future will hold.”