Jesse White Tumblers
Founder and president of The Custom Companies, Inc., which offers a range of transportation services to clients throughout North America, Perry Mandera is an innovator in the sector. Named one of the Illinois Transportation Association’s “Top 100 American Transportation Executives of the Millennium,” Perry Mandera is active in charity and serves on the board of The Jesse White Tumblers.
Since its formation in 1959, The Jesse White Tumblers has been provided alternatives to inner-city children to keep them away from gang- and drug-related activities. To do this, it operates a tumbling team training program, specially designed to develop the tumbling skills of students between the ages of 6 and 16.
Each member of the team is selected during a tryout, with those who make the team learning about the philosophies, rules, and self-discipline the charity has based itself upon since foundation. The program and its uniform are free to all participants, who must keep a “C” average or better in school.
The Jesse White Tumbling Team has become an internationally known group, making more than 1,500 appearances around the world every year. The team has appeared in several movies; in commercials for prominent companies such as Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Jewel Foods, and Coca Cola; and on popular programs such as “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” “Late Night with David Letterman,” “Jenny Jones,” and “Good Morning America.”
Tumblers have had the distinction of appearing in two presidential inauguration parades, including President Barack Obama’s inauguration parade in 2010. Members and former members have toured with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus and the Harlem Globetrotters.
Team members must adhere to a strict set of rules, including a minimum C grade-point average and avoidance of drugs and gang activity. The organization includes not only the tumbling team, but a training program, which develops tumbling skills; a tutoring program that assists students who need help maintaining the required grade-point average; and a scholars program that provides financial support for tumblers who plan to pursue higher education.
All donations to the Jesse White Tumbling Team are tax deductible. Donors can contribute several ways, including via PayPal at http://www.jessewhitetumblingteam.com.
About the Author:
Perry Mandera founded The Custom Companies more than twenty-five years ago. Since that time, the company has grown to a major transportation provider, offering services to companies of all sizes. Custom Cares Charities, an associated charitable organization formed by Mr. Mandera, supports a number of charitable organizations.
For over 50 years, the Jesse White Tumbling Team has delighted audiences with acrobatics. These athletes have performed at professional and collegiate sporting events, company outings, presidential inauguration parades, and television shows such as Late Night with David Letterman, Good Morning America, and the Mickey Mouse Club. Moreover, they were featured in the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
Created by Jesse White, the Illinois Secretary of State since 1998, the Jesse White Tumbling Team has benefited more than 13,000 young people since its development in 1959. Offering recreational, athletic, and cultural benefits, the Jesse White Tumbling Team keeps children from joining gangs and succumbing to drug use. Today, this organization performs more than 1,500 times annually, and it has garnered fans from around the world.
About the Author:
A member of the Board of Directors for the Illinois Transportation Authority, Perry Mandera has run The Custom Companies, Inc., a domestic and international freight company, since 1986. In philanthropic activities, Mandera belongs to the Board of Directors of the Jesse White Tumbling Team.