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Tyler Perry Sending Rebuffed Day-Care Kids to Disney World

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CNN: Tyler Perry, the star, writer and producer of films such as "Madea Goes to Jail" and the television show "House of Payne," could be adding philanthropist to his growing list of credits.

day care suing pool
According to his publicist, Perry is sponsoring a Disney World trip for 65 Pennsylvania children at a largely minority day-care center after a swim club canceled pool privileges for the children.

"He wanted to do something nice for them and let them know that for every negative experience, there are people out there who want them to succeed regardless of the color of their skin," said Keleigh Thomas, Perry's publicist. She added the entertainer would be footing the bill for all transportation, hotel, admissions and food costs at the Florida theme park.

When Perry heard about the situation with the children in the highly publicized aftermath of the pool cancellation, he immediately wanted to help them, Thomas told CNN, adding that a trip to Disney World is definitely "better than the pool."

"I am ecstatic for the children," Alethea Wright, director of the Creative Steps day-care center, told CNN. Perry's team extended the offer to her on Friday, she said. The Disney World stay will be from August 1 to 3, according to Perry's Web site.

The pool controversy started after the Valley Swim Club in suburban Philadelphia revoked the swimming privileges for children from the Creative Steps center after one visit on June 29. Some black and Hispanic children said white club members made racist comments to them during that visit, asking why "black children were there" and raising concerns that "they might steal from us."

The day-care center had originally contracted to use the pool during the summer, but the club canceled the agreement and returned the day-care center's $1,950 check without explanation.

The club canceled contracts with two other day-care centers because of safety and crowding, swim club director John Duesler said. Those facilities have not protested the club's actions.

The issue was exacerbated when Duesler told two Philadelphia television stations the children had changed "the complexion" and "atmosphere" of the club. The comment brought protesters outside the facility.

Duesler later said that safety and crowding prompted the cancellation.

As the controversy grew and reached national news shows, the swim club asked the Creative Steps day care to return. It refused and said it would pursue a lawsuit.

In a statement posted Monday on his Web site, Perry summed up his feelings about the pool situation: "This made me so angry," he wrote.

"This is awful, and for anyone that has grown up in the inner-city, you know that one small act of kindness can change your life," he wrote, adding that with the trip to Disney World, "I want them to know that for every act of evil that a few people will throw at you, there are millions more who will do something kind for them. This is all about the kids."

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11 comments so far | Post a comment now
Kristen July 21, 2009, 9:29 AM

RIDICULOUS!!! And we wonder why everyone cries racism, it GETS them attention and free gifts.

MarMar July 21, 2009, 11:13 AM

What?! Kristen, I’m unsure why you’re hating on the fact that a bunch of underpriviledged kids are being treated by a private citizen with his own money.

Anonymous July 21, 2009, 11:37 AM

I’m surprise that Oprah didn’t think to do this first.

Camille July 21, 2009, 11:52 AM

Kristen your true colors are showing. Let’s remove race out of the scenario for a second. Day camp children pay to use a private facility only to be turned away abruptly. What’s a child to think especially when they overhear negative comments directed at them and they don’t understand why. What kind of effect do you think that has on a child? So someone out of the goodness of their heart wants to show them that not everyone in the world is ignorant and mean. What’s wrong with that? What’s wrong with you?

Kristen July 21, 2009, 11:54 AM

MarMar, I think it’s GREAT that a private citizen is treating underprivledge children to something like this, I think it could have a great impact on there lives. What I’m NOT ok with is how it happened. The swim club asked 2 other groups to leave BUT because this was a minority group, everyone cries that they are being discrimated against.

William July 21, 2009, 6:54 PM

Will they ever quit playing the race card? They need another crutch!

Anonymous July 21, 2009, 10:17 PM

what man meant for evil God has already turn it around for our good. When evil comes as a sharp spear the blessing are already been release. Because, their blessing has been stop and release unto you.There always a ram in the bush.

FaithRocket July 21, 2009, 10:24 PM

William They? Who is they? It’s about race as much as it about taste What was done was tastesless and insesnitive to all the children not just the black kids and Kristen I recieved a email from T. Perry stating just what the Paper and Yahoo reported you are correct it is not what was said or done what you should have a problem with it is the fact that yahoo and the newspapers reported on it. They love to get the people like you (emotional) and Tyler Perry hopping mad.

T July 21, 2009, 10:37 PM

If you’re not a minority in America it is hard to understand the whole concept. Not everyone has been discriminated against. Lets put the shoe on the other foot. A black swim pool and white students come and place membership there. That would never happen nine times out of ten because a white day care is not going to join a black pool. So hypothetically speaking the white kids membership was revoked because of the changing complexion and atmosphere. What do you think would happen?

THE REAL TRUTH July 23, 2009, 1:38 PM

Its sad that people like to attack the “BLACK” people first for standing up for themselves when they have been wronged but since I can read, I know that these articles clearly say that the children where black and Latino and in the picture there are actually a couple of white children. My point is the children that are white and latino parent’s voted for their children not to return as well, meaning they were in AGREEMENT with the BLACK PARENTS!!! Lets not support ignorance when it happens instead of what is right! What is sad is that ADULTS would not mind saying racist things to CHILDREN… THEY ARE COWARDS

Anonymous July 26, 2009, 7:11 PM