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Fan tribute will mark Michael Jackson's death

June 22, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
To mark the first anniversary of Michael Jackson's death, a red-carpet tribute will be held Saturday at the Beverly Hilton, organized by the Jackson Family Foundation and VoicePlate Productions."I know that Michael would be very honored and very pleased that his fans all over the world are coming together to celebrate his life," said Jackson's mother, Katherine, in a video posted on YouTube. She will be releasing her new book "Never Can Say Goodbye" at the tribute.

Tickets for the event start at $150 and go up to $500, but there are also many things you can do free of charge.

For example, fans can take part in sponsoring a popular tribute portrait of Jackson, an image formed by tiny dots. Every dot is sponsored by a fan.

"Every time somebody joins, I put one dot in there, and if you look closely, you see that this entire thing is made up of 250,000 dots so far," said David Ilian, the portrait's artist.

Celebrities including Raven Symone invite everyone to join in.

"It makes me feel good. Now, after so many years of everyone saying, 'I love you Michael, I love you,' now they can actually give him something and show him because you know he's watching," said Symone.

However, the anniversary also revives an old controversy.

Jackson once attended Gardner Elementary School in West Hollywood. The auditorium was later named for him, but it was later covered up at the request of parents when Jackson was charged with child molestation.

Now, Jennifer Marino is leading a petition drive to uncover Jackson's name.

"He was never convicted. In fact, he was cleared of all charges, so at that point, it should have been uncovered," said Marino.

A school district spokesperson told Eyewitness News that it has no plans to remove the plywood cover, but Marino believes public pressure might change that.

"I've spoken to teachers on this side, members of that community that walk down the street every day, there's absolutely nobody who has complained or is against it," explained Marino.

LAPD warns fans that camping out for the Saturday tribute will be strictly prohibited. Police also say fans will not be allowed to sit in chairs while waiting in line.


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