Tyler Perry Gives $100,000 To Pastor On Shuttered Motel Roof
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Updated 2/24/2012 at 10 p.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) — The Rev. Corey Brooks came from the roof of a shuttered West Woodlawn neighborhood motel after actor-director Tyler Perry said he would donate $100,000 so Brooks can buy the motel and replace it with a community center.
After he learned about the pastor’s three-month vigil, Perry said on the Tom Joyner radio show Friday morning he would provide the donation. Now, Brooks is $15,000 above his original goal of raising $450,000.
In addition, a local donor said he would provide $85,000 to Brooks’ mission.
Greeting an enthusiastic crowd when he came down from the roof shortly after 6 p.m. Friday, Brooks thanked donors large and small who helped him exceed his fundraising goal.
“I’m extremely grateful tonight for Brother Tyler Perry,” Brooks told the crowd.
He said he had not originally intended to camp out for so long.
“I thought originally it would take 21 days. Never did I think it would take 94 days, but I’ll say this: I would not trade one single day, for what I’ve learned and what I’ve experienced,” Brooks said.
Perry initially said he would give $98,000 to help the pastor reach his goal. Perry’s camp later increased the donation to $100,000, saying it was easier to round up, Brooks said.
The pastor later attended the Chicago premier of Perry’s movie, “Good Deeds.” It’s about a wealthy, successful business man who helps a struggling single mother get back on her feet.
Brooks said he would celebrate over the weekend but vowed to be back on Monday to promote the second phase of the project: Raising money to actually build the center.
Brooks, pastor of New Beginnings Church, has been camping out on the roof of the Super Motel, 6625 S. King Dr., for 94 days.
Brooks said recent shootings in the neighborhood confirm the need for the center.
“If we don’t enhance this community, if we don’t make this community better, it’s going to continue to be a killing field,” Brooks to WBBM Newsradio on Thursday.
Brooks helped to get the motel shut down. He wants to replace the building with a community center for the surrounding community and give kids a safe place to spend their free time and create retail opportunities for local residents.
While many have been inspired by Brooks’ campaign, it has not been without its discouraging moments, however. An 18-year-old boy with whom the pastor was acquainted was shot a couple of blocks north of the motel, in the 6400 block of King Drive.
Brooks has come down off the roof of the motel twice to bury two teens who were shot and killed at a Church’s Chicken shop in Englewood. Before he went up on the roof, Brooks buried 10 local teens lost to gun violence.
He said he thought he might have to come down a third time to set his teenage daughter straight.
“I just had her brought here,” he said.
Brooks said he will not be up on a roof as he solicits funding to begin construction of the community center.
Donations to Brooks’ campaign, Project HOOD (Helping Others Obtain Destiny), can be made by clicking here to visit his website.