Secret Stages and The Willie Perry Foundation announce Willie Perry Day/ Secret Stages Kick Off Party
When: Wednesday, August 3rd, 6PM – 9PM
Where: Old Car Heaven
What: An event to celebrate the life and work of Willie Perry
Featuring: Performances by Love Moor, Jason Grubbs & Daniel McCabe and the Carlton Reese Memorial Choir
Willie Perry was Birmingham’s Batman, a true local super hero
In 1982 Mayor Richard Arrington, Jr. declared August 3rd, Willie Perry Day praising the hero for being “one of the few people who disregarded himself completely in the name of others.”
Perry lived by the motto “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” After he heard about a woman whose car had broken down being raped by a group of men who had seemingly stopped to help her, he decided to take to the streets in a way that he could be recognized as a helper that could be trusted.
In addition to carrying gas, jumper cables and tools to help people whose cars had broken down, Perry gave free rides to people who had too much to drink, took elderly people to doctor’s appointments and drove kids around to McDonald’s or as entertainment for birthday parties. He visited home-bound neighbors and assisted with guiding traffic around road hazards. On at least one occasion Perry foiled an attempted robbery at a pharmacy. He always refused any offer of payment for his services.
When making his rounds, Perry wore a white helmet with the bat logo and a white jumpsuit with brown trim. He accessorized with portable pagers and various tools worn on his utility belt. Friendly business owners sometimes helped him by donating gasoline and parts for his car.
The Willie Perry Foundation
“The foundation was established to continue the legacy of my father with the spirit of giving to the City of Birmingham, as well as the state of Alabama,” says Perry’s daughter Renee Perry-HillHill.
The foundation has also introduced Wheels of Change Program. The program is to help single parents who are striving to work, attend college and to improve their quality of life by providing them with a reliable used car for transportation.
“Our goal is to accept donated automobiles that can be repaired and given to these individuals for reliable transportation.”