Local videographer David Sosna spent part of his summer traveling across the country in a beat-up limousine. He and his friends are hoping to get on The Ellen DeGeneres show, but more importantly, they’re giving back to the people they meet along the way.
The 2013 Shawnee Mission East graduate is a full-time freelance videographer, producing for commercial work and events. Mutual friends introduced Sosna to Jake Triplett, a YouTuber who used to work for K-Life in Prairie Village. During their introductory phone call at the end of June to discuss potentially working together, Triplett invited Sosna to join him and his friends on the cross-country road trip.
“It was bold on their side, but on my side, I think it would be crazy if I said no, and it would be crazy if I said yes,” Sosna said of the offer. “I try to live on the ‘why not?’ of things.”
About a week later, Sosna flew to Portland, Maine, to meet the other travelers and begin their journey.
The idea behind their cross-country project was to drive through all 48 states in a beat-up 1990s limousine, with the end goal of getting on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Their journey is slated to end in a few weeks in Los Angeles.
Sosna helped document the travelers’ progress for a portion of the trip. He jumped off the trip a few weeks later in North Carolina because he received several gigs for his business in the Kansas City area.
The travelers just made their stop in Kansas City about a week ago. Sosna is considering re-joining the group when they reach Seattle.
The travelers’ journey has garnered thousands of followers on their Facebook watch channel and Instagram page, “Ellen, We Bought a Limo.” Some of their videos have upwards of 400,000 views; one popular video shows how they turned their limo into New York’s hottest nightclub and drove around Times Square.
Sosna is sure DeGeneres has heard of them because they’ve received emails from her team. He’s hopeful that by journey’s end, they will receive an invitation to be on her show.
While getting on the Ellen show would be cool, the group’s main goal is to give back to people in need whom they meet along their way. That’s why they set up a GoFundMe for viewers to donate; 100 percent of those funds are distributed to people “who needed help in some way.”
The first of these was a mother of two and McDonald’s employee who needed financial help earning her GED diploma. Another was deep in medical bills for cancer treatment. Still another needed a leg up on her nonprofit that helps children meet with their parents who are incarcerated.
“We wanted to bring positivity everywhere that we went and realized that no matter where we went in the U.S., there are amazing, incredible people,” Sosna said.