- (PHOTO: Fred Prouser/Reuters)
Tyler Perry has donated $100,000 to schools in Ohio, after making a surprise visit to Finland Middle School in Columbus on Friday.
The 43 year old actor, director arrived at the school as a musical concert was taking place, and then stunned the 700 students by donating $100,000 to help student athletes in the city's southwestern schools.
Perry donation seems to be in response to drastic cutbacks to the southwestern schools' athletics and extracurricular programs, which gained national attention in 2009. Subsequently voters helped to bring many of the clubs and extracurricular activities back, but the recommencement of them was only possible at a cost.
Perry has said that the school caught his attention after he saw a report from Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, which highlighted Finland teacher Mary Mulvany, who estabished a foundation to raise scholarship money for student athletes' fees ranging from $75 to $150 per sport.
Those efforts inspired Perry, and he has said that he wanted to do his part to support the initiatives by making his donation, according to The Columbus Dispatch.
Mulvany was full of praise for Perry's support, saying: "Hundreds of kids will be helped by what he did today."
Perry has become known for his sizeable charitable donations, and in this case he has said that he hoped his donation would help as many kids as possible.
In 2009, Perry donated $110,000 to an Atlanta-based homeless shelter, Covenant House. A 15-passenger van was also donated to the shelter by Perry, to support efforts to rescue young people from homelessness.
President Kevin Ryan has previously said, "His generous donation will provide immediate help to kids in crisis as well as the long-term support that will transform their lives."
In another incident in 2012, Perry offered to replace a disabled woman's stolen van, which had been specially equipped for her needs. When the van was stolen it had left 24 year old Alicia Day devastated, and left her no way to travel to her vital medical appointments as well as to her part time job. But upon hearing of her plight, Perry paid nearly $60,000 for Day's new silver customized 2011 Volkswgaen American.
Here is a video of a previous interview with Tyler Perry on Jay Leno: