Movie star pays for campers' Disney trip

<div class="meta image-caption"><div class="origin-logo origin-image none"><span>none</span></div><span class="caption-text">Tyler Perry exchanges high-fives with campers from Creative Steps in Philadelphia July 31, 2009 at DisneyQuest, an indoor, interactive theme park at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Earlier this month, the campers were turned away from a local Philadelphia pool. Perry sent each child who was turned away, along with a legal guardian, to the Walt Disney World to enjoy the theme parks and other recreational activities at the resort. Perry said he wanted to do something kind for the children to let them know that for every person out there who treated them poorly, there was someone else waiting with an act of kindness. During a surprise appearance July 31 at DisneyQuest, Perry addressed the group of more than 70 children and spoke of racism and challenged each child to live their life to the betterment of the community. &#40;Quantrell D. Colbert, photographer&#41;</span></div>
July 31, 2009 12:14:08 PM PDT
Dozens of day campers from Northeast Philadelphia will be spending the next three days at Disney World thanks to the generosity of a movie star.The Creative Steps campers were tossed out of a Montgomery County Swim Club and the incident drew protests and national attention.

Only Action News was there this morning as the kids arrived for the flight to Florida.

Wearing bright orange shirts, the kids from Creative Steps day camp arrived long before dawn at Philadelphia International Airport. Despite the early hour, their eyes were bright with anticipation as they prepared to board the flight to Orlando for their big trip to Disney World.

"I am going to see Mickey Mouse, the duck, and Goofy," said Mia Dollar from Northeast Philadelphia.

Movie mogul Tyler Perry is paying for the entire trip for the 65 campers, their counselors, and their families. Perry is well-known for his character, Madea, in the movies. He wrote on his website that what happened to the Creative Camp kids broke his heart and he wanted to do something.

"I think it was very nice for what he did," said Joe Hilliard of Northeast Philadelphia.

"We are grateful that Tyler Perry did that. I am looking forward to having fun with the kids and seeing smiles on their faces now," said camp counselor Louis Baylor.

A month ago, the 65 African-American and Hispanic kids went on their first visit to the Valley Swim Club in Huntington Valley, Montgomery County. Some children said they heard members making racist remarks. The campers were asked to leave, and their nearly $2000 dollar deposit was returned without explanation.

The incident drew protests and put the kids at the center of racial controversy.

But, on Friday, these kids had Mickey Mouse on their minds.

The swim club's president has said the campers were asked to leave because of concerns about overcrowding.

The kids were invited back, but they found a different pool for the summer.

The U.S. Justice Department is now reviewing the racism allegations.


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