Chadwick Boseman stars as the title role in Marvel’s “Black Panther.” Underserved children in Springfield will be able to see the final showing of the movie at a local theater for free thanks to a fundraiser coordinated by a Springfield resident. CONTRIBUTED

Springfield woman helps local children see ‘Black Panther’

A unique take on the viral “Black Panther Challenge” fundraiser that swept the country weeks ago is now allowing underserved children in Springfield to see the popular movie for free.

The final showing of the Marvel action movie starring Chadwick Boseman, Lupita N’yongo and Michael B. Jordan at the Chakeres Theaters in Springfield has been completely sold out in less than 48 hours thanks to the efforts of a local resident.

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Olivia Montgomery, the outreach coordinator to underserved populations at the Ohio Domestic Violence Network, said she was inspired to start the fundraiser because the movie recently surpassed James Cameron’s 1997 film “Titanic” to become the third-highest grossing film in U.S. cinematic history.

“I thought about kids who hadn’t seen it and I wanted them to be able to experience it,” Montgomery said.

Montgomery originally posted a message on Facebook stating she was doing a random drawing for five free tickets to the film. She then posted a new message challenging people to match her donation and reached out to Chakeres Theaters Inc. to participate. With help from the theater and donators, Montgomery was able to purchase 110 tickets for the 7 p.m. showing on Thursday, filling the theater to capacity.

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She said the tickets will be provided to a boy’s mentoring group in Springfield and individual families in the area.

“For everyone who says Springfield is a bad place, here’s proof we are an incredible community,” she wrote on Facebook. “Thank you to everyone who donated! You’ve absolutely made a difference in a child’s life!”

This isn’t the first time Montgomery has given back to the community at large. She has previously organized events through the Springfield chapter of the NAACP and hosted community forums for minorities to help foster better relations in the city.

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Montgomery said she’s thankful for everyone who helped to rent out the theater so quickly and give back to the community.

“Representation is super important and I wanted them to have that opportunity to see it on the big screen,” she said. “Everyone made it easy and I couldn’t be happier about that.”

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