Thanks to an anonymous donor, and co-sponsored by Rosée Entertainment, The Michael Jackson Tribute Portrait (MJTP) hosted an event at Disneyland for children and families of Boys & Girls Club of East Los Angeles.
On behalf of Michael Jackson and in line with the MJTP, mission to carry on his humanitarian legacy, the anonymous donor wanted to do something special, something meaningful, to brighten the lives of children. The donor specifically chose Disneyland for many reasons, some personal, but also because it is one of the happiest places on earth, and was one of Michael Jackson’s favorite places.
“Boys & Girls Club is one of the groups that Michael Jackson supported. He would have brought these deserving kids to his amusement park at Neverland if he were here,” said MJTP artist David Ilan.
Some of the Boys & Girls Club children and families at Disneyland
“The Amusement Park, along with the rest of Neverland, was built to bring a magical day; a joy filled memory into the lives of all those sick and less fortunate kids who visited Neverland,” Scanlan said. “The impact that a day at Neverland had on the inner city children and the children who were dealing with life threatening illness was beyond belief. To represent Mr. Jackson and to help make his dream come true for those children, to be part of that magical day and the memory those children will hang onto was a blessing.”
Upon their arrival, the young guests were greeted by MJTP VIP-Member, Allan Scanlan. “Big Al,” who was hired by Michael Jackson to for oversee the grounds, ride safety and numerous other attractions at Neverland Ranch, eventually developed a close personal friendship with Michael Jackson. Over his 15 years at the Disneyland-inspired Neverland, Big Al was often host to the many thousands of disadvantaged and ill children who visited to enjoy the amusement park, zoo and theater.
Big Al’s support and presence bound this special Disneyland event to the memory of Michael Jackson, and how he brightened so many children's lives through his love and generosity.
The event was organized by Emmy nominated Executive Producer Jerry Biederman, who is the co-founder with Ilan of the MJTP, and Anna Araujo, Chief Professional Officer of the Boys & Girls Club of East Los Angeles.
Following is a little information about some of the children, families and chaperones (who are also part of the Boys & Girls Club of East Los Angeles). Names have been removed for privacy.
• Family 1: Ten siblings. Mother very grateful. She says she would never be able to afford taking them, especially since one sibling is special needs. Six of the children attended.
• Family 2: Parents were separated over this past year. The four siblings have had a rough year.
• Family 3: Three teen brothers who share a room. Had never been to Disneyland.
• Family 4: Two siblings who have been raised by a single dad all their lives. Have been club members for nine years.
• Family 5: New to the United States. Child is being raised by single dad and grandma.
• Family 6: Two children being raised by single mom.
• Family 7: Brother and sister new to the club who haven't made friends yet.
• Family 8: Children are being raised by their aunt. They go to middle school together and are friends.
Special thanks to all who helped make this possible. Very special thanks to everyone at Boys & Girls Club for the work you do. Love to the children and families of Boys & Girls Club of East Los Angeles. It was truly an honor to be able to do this, and to share these special moments with you.
To learn more about the Boys & Girls Club, visit their website: http://www.bgca.org/
For more information on the Boys & Girls Club of East Los Angeles, visit their website: http://www.bgcela.bbnow.org