NBA Player Returns Home To Share Some Goodness
Professional athletes who are community minded and display true altruism are a dying breed these days. NBA players are often in the sports headlines, but rarely for their charitable works. Los Angeles Clippers forward Caron Butler was in the news this week as he made a large financial donation to charities in his hometown of Racine, Wisconsin.
This past week, Butler held a two-day charity weekend in his hometown. The two-time All Star announced a $200,000 donation to four Racine charities and the creation of The Caron Butler Youth Basketball League. The organizations that were on the receiving end of Caron Butler's generosity were The United Way of Racine County, The Racine Family YMCA, The Juneteenth Foundation, and The George Bray Center. As he announced his charitable giving plans on Friday, Butler said "I want to be a pillar in this community".
Following Friday's press conference, a workshop entitled "Get Active With Caron Butler" was held in which youth aged 5 to 15 participated in a variety of activities which were designed to encourage participation in a healthy and active lifestyle. Butler also acted as a panelist (along with other celebrity guests) at a "Teen Summit" which was held on Saturday to highlight a variety of social issues which are important to youth in Racine. The charity weekend wrapped up with a community block party in which families were invited to share in some food and fun.
The Caron Butler press conference was held at Washington Park High School, the NBA player's alma mater. Speaking in a teary voice, Butler spoke of the people who helped him overcome some major challenges in his formative years. He spoke of his association with the Bray Center, and underscored the work of its Executive Director, Jameel Ghuari, as a mentor to him after Butler was incarcerated as a young teen. "Jameel, he was one of the people who told me that I can't straddle," he said. "I couldn't watch the drug house and be a professional athlete. I had to pick a life that would have led to jail or death or taking someone's life or live my talent and live a life for good."Continued on the next page