Local News

Friend honors Durham activist with day at the circus for 100 local children

Posted August 18
Updated August 19

— A Durham Activist was remembered Friday with a unique gesture from a fellow community activist.

Jamaal McDuffie's friend Umar Muhammad died in a motorcycle accident in July.

Muhammad was a well-known community activist. In his friend's memory, McDuffie organized a trip to the circus at PNC Arena for around 100 local children.

"I know a lot of kids who have not been, simply because parents have to work, it's not a good time, or maybe they can't afford it right now," said Deanna Gainer.

For Gainer and other parents, the trip to the Univer-Soul Circus was free thanks to McDuffie.

Gainer and other parents said they are so appreciative of the gesture of goodwill.

"He is a very good person in the community. He does a lot for kids, it means a lot for them to be able to go," Gainer said.

McDuffie made the trip to the circus possible with donations from the Durham community.

He then used social media to spread the news and contact families.

Around 100 children had the opportunity to attend the circus, some for the very first time.

As a surprise to the children and parents, the Circus recognized McDuffie at the end of the show. They were also given a free lunch and book bag.

"This is what happens when you give back," Gainer said.

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