Butler gives gift cards to 30 children

Published 8:00 am Sunday, August 5, 2018

Thirty children got an extra gift Saturday from NFL star Malcolm Butler.

Each of them received a $200 Wal-Mart gift card in a random drawing tied to the former Vicksburg High and current Tennessee Titans cornerback’s football camp that was held in July.

“We wanted to make sure a lot of the kids were able to get school supplies, and this will help with that,” said Cynthia Bell, director of the Malcolm Butler Football Camp. “I had one lady that had four kids and she said she was trying to figure out how she was going to get their uniforms. She was praying on where the money was going to come from.”

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Bell said the first five people from each grade from first through 12th who signed up for Butler’s camp were put into a pool for the drawing. From that number, 30 were selected to receive the gift cards. The winners included children from Vicksburg, Port Gibson, Terry, Edwards and Jackson, and they received them in a ceremony Saturday morning at Memorial Stadium.

Bell added that Butler paid for the cards himself. Butler is at training camp with the Titans and was not at Saturday’s ceremony.

“Malcolm wanted to give them something extra to show his appreciation for participating in the camp,” Bell said.

Butler has hosted his camp at Memorial Stadium each of the past four years. More than 400 children attended this year’s edition, and plans are already under way for the next one in July 2019.

Registration will be held in April 2019. Bell encouraged people to sign up early — not just because space is limited, but because it might pay off later on.

“Hopefully next year we’ll be able to do more,” Bell said. “We’re encouraging early registration next year. You never know what’s going to happen.”

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured reporters in the paper's 140-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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