Lansing, MI — NBA legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson and his friends recently helped raise about $1 million dollars for the Lansing Promise scholarship program, sponsored by the Lansing School District in Lansing, Michigan. The program provides college tuition financial aid for local economically-challenged students.
He commented, “Lansing was the greatest place in the world to grow up. Everything I am came from Lansing, Michigan. Everything I will be came from Lansing, Michigan.”
He also took the time to speak directly to the dozens of Lansing school kids in attendance, urging them to get a good education so they can attain their dreams. He also did a question-and-answer session with both students and adults.
So how did he do it?
Well, about $200,000 was raised from the dinner alone, and another $300,000 was donated by Johnson himself. Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores contributed $250,000, and former Los Angeles Lakers coach Pat Riley also coughed up $25,000.
Local officials were speechless
“Lansing was changed tonight. I believe that we’ve launched a new era,” said Kellie Dean, chairwoman of the Lansing Promise scholarship program.
Lansing School Board President Peter Spadafore, commented, “I was speechless. I was thinking it would be more like $200,000. This community is willing to invest in the Lansing School District. It makes me very proud.”
Johnson himself was also very excited, and said he wants to make the fundraiser an annual event. He told reporters, “I want to be here because it’s important for me to be here. I want to support these young people because somebody supported me and I understand their goals and dreams. So if I can help in way way — a small way, a big way — I’m here to do so.”
True service to the community
Johnson is no stranger to urban communities. Via his foundation, Magic Johnson Enterprises, he has given away many, many scholarships to urban students, built 18 technology centers across the country, has sponsored several job and health fairs, and has long been credited for encouraging major retailers like Starbucks and AMC Theaters to build in urban communities.