EXIT 353c I-95s in Jacksonville, Florida to Union Street and The Gator Bowl.
Ok Road Trip crew on a Car Travel Tour…. This week marks the 10th Anniversary of Michael Jackson’s passing. Coincidentally you are passing through Jacksonville — which has no relation to the Gary, Indiana native.
On the other hand, maybe that is not 100 percent true! While Michael Jackson was controversial and it is hard to separate Jackson from his art, his legacy in Jacksonville seems to be positive. According to an article entitled, “Forgotten about for 34 years, Michael Jackson’s money will fund Jacksonville Music Scholarships” from floridapolitics.com written by A.G. Gancarski, Michael Jackson has endowed the local music scene with money for Duval County Music students.
Writes Mister Gancarski: “In 1984, there was no bigger star in the world than Michael Jackson. With the songs from 1982’s Thriller still resonating on the charts…
…he and his brothers thought the time was right for a family Victory tour. The Jackson 5 came to Jacksonville in a three-night Gator Bowl stint in a metropolitan area much less populous than it is today.
That era is long gone now. The King of Pop has passed on… Yet, in a strange twist of fate, a small piece of his legacy will remain, to impact Jacksonville, Florida youth with musical aptitude.
Per Jacksonville Chief Administrative Officer Sam Mousa, Michael Jackson “gifted the City $100,000 for music scholarships to deserving Duval County, Florida students seriously interested in pursuing the study of music. The funds were placed in a City of Jacksonville Trust Fund; however, only the interest earnings therefrom may be spent on scholarships.”
Somewhat mysteriously, none of the money had been spent. However in 2018 they have started the process of distributing the money: “To the best of my knowledge and research,” Mousa asserted in an email in 2018, “no scholarships have been provided from the trust fund.”
“By 2018 The fund has earned $73,600 in interest. And while the $173,600 must remain in the fund, the city can use an anticipated $5,500 of projected interest this next fiscal year for scholarships, which will be administered via the Kids Hope Alliance.”