Milton Verret, an Austin businessman and philanthropist, has announced that the jacket entertainer Michael Jackson wore for his landmark “Thriller” album performance in 1982 is now in Austin and will soon be employed to help raise money for children’s medical needs across the country — starting with Dell Children’s Medical Center in Austin.
Verret, who recently won an auction for the jacket with a top bid of $1.8 million, announced that, as previously arranged with the auction house, $100,000 of the winning bid will go to the Superhero Kids Fund at Dell Children’s. The fund assists children and their families who are receiving treatment at Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Program.
Samia Joseph of Austin, a co-founder of the Superhero Kids Fund, and hospital officials accepted the $100,000 on behalf of the children and their families.
“Winning this auction meant so much to me, because it reflects two passions in my life: Helping these children at Dell Children’s who show so much courage fighting illness, and my love for classic rock-and-roll memorabilia,” Mr. Verret said.
“This jacket is an important part of music history, and I want to put it to good use by helping children who are seriously ill,” Mr. Verret said. “I plan to line up corporate sponsors and put the jacket on tour to raise money for programs that help sick children, across the United States and, I hope, around the world.”
The Thriller jacket will go on public display at the Long Center for the Performing Arts in Austin the evening of July 27th during the official kickoff of Cow Parade Austin. The public is invited to take a picture with the Thriller jacket from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Verret won the bidding for the jacket sponsored by Julien Auctions of Beverly Hills, California.
Mr. Verret, who founded U.S. Money Reserve, a business that specializes in selling gold coins, also is leading another effort to raise money for the Superhero Kids Fund, the 2011 CowParade Austin.
The CowParade — which has been a major success in numerous other cities — has about 100 artistic “cows” that need corporate sponsors whose support will directly benefit Superhero Kids Fund. More than half of the cows have found sponsors — but more are needed