George Michael’s philanthropy is legendary, and many stories on the extent of his charitable giving have come to light after his passing. He has supported a number of charities, including those focused on children.
One of these charities was the Adam Walsh Child Resource Center, a nonprofit dedicated to locating missing children.
George Michael’s Act of Charity
George Michael frequently gave performances to support charities.
In 1988, George brought his Faith Tour show to the Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre in Irvine, California. The show was originally scheduled for only for two days, October 7 and 8. However, he added a third show, on October 9, to benefit the Adam Walsh Child Resource Center. According to the Los Angeles Times,
A third and final George Michael concert at Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre has been added for Oct. 9, with proceeds going to the Adam Walsh Child Resource Center. The center is a national nonprofit organization that serves as an information clearinghouse to educate parents how to prevent the abduction and molestation of children. The organization also assists families of missing children and educates youngsters on how to protect themselves from being molested. Tickets go on sale Sunday at 9 a.m. at Ticketmaster locations in Music Plus stores, where priority wristbands will be distributed Sunday at 8 a.m. Prices range from $17.50 to $50. No tickets will be sold at the Irvine Meadows box office until the night of the show.
That concert raised more than $500,000 and the proceeds were given to seven Adam Walsh Child Resource Centers across the country.
An October 12, 1988 article in The Los Angeles Times explained that corporate sponsors played a key part in the charity fundraising:
Underwriting and corporate givers proved the big plus at Michael’s Sunday night concert. CBS Records, the Sony Corp. and the Coca-Cola Co. made sizable contributions, Kahane explained, and that meant not only that enormous money came in, but also that hundreds of kids who wouldn’t normally get the chance to see the rock star did with donated tickets. The entire event was put together, she said, in eight weeks a time line that will bring tears to the eyes of most charity mavens.
Stars were all around when Michael presented the $500,000 check to John and Reve Walsh backstage. Rob Lowe, Robert Downey Jr., Demi Moore and Patti D’Arbanville were in the crowd.
In addition to the benefit concert, George donated an autographed “Faith Tour Jacket” that was auctioned off to benefit the Adam Walsh Child Resource Center. Here is the advert that was run to promote the auction of the George Michael jacket.
No information has been found on how much the auction of the jacket went for.
What is the Adam Walsh Child Resource Center?
The Adam Walsh Child Resource Center was a nonprofit created to reform American laws handling missing children.
Adam Walsh was the “missing child who changed America,” according to Time Magazine. In 1981, 6-year-old Adam disappeared while shopping with his mom in Florida. His severed head was found floating in a canal 16 days later. His body was never found. It took 27 years for law enforcement to find his killer.
Time Magazine called the Adam Walsh murder as “the catalyst for change as law enforcement learned how to deal with missing children.” Four days after his funeral, his parents John and Revé Walsh founded the Adam Walsh Outreach Center for Missing Children. They lobbied for the Missing Children’s Act, which, enacted in 1982, required entry of missing children data into the FBI’s National Crime Information Center database (NCIC). In 2006, George W. Bush signed The Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006, which expanded the national sex-offenders registry and created a national child-abuse registry.
John went on to create the television show America’s Most Wanted to help capture dangerous fugitives at large by reenacting the cases.
In 1990, the Adam Walsh Child Resource Center merged with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), also co-founded by the parents of Adam Walsh.
- George Michael’s Acts of Charity
- George Michael’s Interview with the Gay Magazine ‘The Advocate’ (1999)
- George Michael Fans: Concert Brings Fans Out Early
- George Michael and John Lennon’s Imagine Piano: Tracking the Journey through News Clippings
- George Michael: The Lone Star State Interview on Q Magazine (June 1988)