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#BlackPantherChallenge campaign in Lansing helps kids see movie

Posted at 9:38 AM, Feb 15, 2018

#BlackPantherChallenge has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to send kids across the nation to see the super hero blockbuster for free.

Jim Phan and Howard Johnson were once kids themselves in Lansing. Now that they're adults, they're teaming up to give back to kids in their community.

The now college students bonded over comics books and video games since a young age.

"I love Black Panther. I've been collecting comic books at a young age. I know the origin, I know the set up, I know the world. I love it," Phan said.

The #BlackPantherChallenge is a GoFundMe initiative to send children to see the movie for free. When Phan heard about the initiative, he and Howard made a GoFundMe campaign of their own .

"Kalamazoo, Grand Rapids, Flint was doing it, then we should be doing it," Johnson said.

"I really wanted to find a way to show the kids that they can do more with your life and that there's people in the community that care and are willing to support you," Phan said.

Since they started the campaign two weeks ago, they've raised more than their goal of $600, meaning the were able to send even more kids to go see the movie than initially expected.

The duo were able to buy 100 tickets selling out an entire theater for kids from the Boys and Girls Club along with their chaperones.

"It's a really good feeling that everybody has this collaboration that they want to give back and they support the movement," Phan said.

"I think they'll love it, and like I said, it's someone they can relate to more," Johnson said.

The extra money raised from the campaign will be donated to the Boys and Girls Club.

The screening will be held at Celebration! Cinema in Lansing this Saturday at 11 AM.

Black Panther opens in theaters this Friday.