June 14, 2008

Bicycles for 500 -- compliments of Caron Butler

Ty'zai Jones, 8, happily shows off her bicycle

Ever seen a kid smile with happiness when she gets her first bicycle?

Well, multiply that by 500 and you have the scene at the Bryant Center this morning, when NBA Wizard and hometown hero Caron Butler gave away that many bikes to Racine kids.

Two-time All-Star Butler has done this twice before, but it seems there are always kids needing bicycles. And so he arrived with a huge truck from Wal-Mart, bringing 500 two-wheelers of all sizes and 500 helmets. Every kid who registered in advance got one, and many were available for late arrivals. Almost every kid who showed up got a bike fit for his or her age and size.

And the smiles were ear-to-ear. Racine Parks Director Donnie Snow and his minions, along with Police Chief Kurt Wahlen, and his, were on hand to keep everything moving smoothly. It was the start of a joyous -- and sunny and dry! -- Juneteenth celebration at the Bryant Center, with food, music, games and lots of activities.

Butler, who donated $10,000 to the city, will be recognized at 3 p.m. as the festival's "Kids Corner" sponsor, just one of many activities he's participating in this weekend. On Friday, he was on hand for the unveiling of a classroom at the Cops 'N Kids Learning Center, along with Mayor Gary Becker and Cops 'N Kids founder and Director Julia Burney-Witherspoon.

On Sunday, Butler will host a Father's Day Clinic at the Bray Center, from 10 a.m. to noon before hosting a family skate party at Skatetown USA at 4 p.m.

"I grew up here, my family is here and the dreams that I had as a child have now come true, so I want to show all the youth in Racine that you can make a difference, you just have to work hard and put your mind to it. Follow the 3D's: Discipline, Determination, Dedication and there will be no limit to what you can accomplish," Butler said.

Nor is the bicycle giveaway Butler's only philanthropy in Racine. Each year, he also hands out 500 winter coats and hundreds of turkeys at Thanksgiving.


  1. I see blacks and mexicans in the pics. Any white kids get bikes? Just curious.

  2. Yes. See the second picture I posted.

  3. What a wonderful event! Thank you Caron Butler for giving Racine's children wonderful gifts of bikes.

    The only sad part is when people (1st post) see the color of the children first rather than the joy on their faces.

  4. The 2nd picture shows white people supervising the event, but I don't see any white kids actually getting bikes or even on them.

    While this is a worthwhile event, had the scene been the opposite (whites getting bikes) there would have been a large outcry. Since this was a private donor, I guess they can give to whoever they want.

  5. Winter Witch6/16/2008 7:18 AM

    Dear Anon,
    What difference does it make what "color" children are who got a bike. FYI, there were white children who got bikes.

    Next year if he does this, volunteer or go to the event if you are curious.

    Thank you Caron for everything you are doing for Racine. It is appreciated, deeply appreciated.

    A child is a child, we are color blind when it comes to a child's smile and a bike.

  6. Anon 3:44 P.M. , and Anon 10:35 P.M., I understand what you are both trying to get across. The double standard Race issue is alive and well, especially in good ol' Racine, WI. If J-Wax offered bikes to 95% White children, it would make national news and there would be marching in the streets. We know, We get it, it's the others who turn a blind eye to this discrimination. Oh well, life goes on.

  7. There are 25% white kids in the photo at most. It's obvious that his focus is on black kids, but maybe that is not bad. What is the % difference between white and blacks in prison. Maybe blacks need more emphasis. That probably holds true for hispanics also. Maybe we need to call on Romo to help out those kids.

  8. does anyone know if he is doing it this year and if so how do i get a bike for my kid? it seems unfair because every year the same kids get the bikes while others are out of luck. Why dont they limit it to 1 bike every 3 years so others can have a bike to.

  9. I'm not certain, but I believe the bike giveaway was open to anyone who requested a bike for their child.