Celebrity gives soccer team $5,000

Tyler Perry

Tyler Perry

LILBURN -- Celebrity Tyler Perry wrote a $5,000 check this week to a local soccer team, which was robbed less than two weeks ago. It's the latest in an outpouring of support for the Phoenix Red U-16 team, which is part of the Gwinnett Soccer Association.

"Out of nowhere I got a call from Tyler Perry's publicist company," said Michael Samnik, the team's coach. "They told me that Tyler Perry had seen the news, and that he was very moved by what happened."

According to an incident report from Lilburn Police, officials arrived about 5 p.m. June 9 at Oyster Barn on Beaver Ruin Road, where a witness claimed to have seen a person wearing a motorcycle helmet smash the window of a vehicle belonging to a Gwinnett Soccer Association coach.

The responding officer spoke with Samnik, whose 2011 Chevy Silverado was broken in to. The report stated that the back passenger window of the vehicle had been shattered. "Mr. Samnik was having a fundraiser earlier in the day ... for his GSA soccer team he coaches. Mr. Samnik told me all the money from the day and the day before was inside the truck," the report stated.

The incident report stated that more than $2,400 in cash was stolen.

Since that day, Samnik said, the community support has been "absolutely overwhelming."

In addition to Perry's $5,000 donation, the team was treated to a free lunch on Monday courtesy of Church's Chicken. The corp. also presented them with a $4,000 check.

The team is ranked No. 1 in the nation in its age group, according to gotsoccer.com