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Jacqueline Avant Memorial Fund To Benefit New MLK Children's Center In Watts

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Even in death, Jacqueline Avant continues to give back to the community.

Premiere Of PBS SoCal Documentary "Hollywood's Architect: The Paul R. Williams Story"
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 03: Jacquie Avant arrives at the premiere of the PBS SoCal Documentary "Hollywood's Architect: The Paul R. Williams Story" at the Charlie Chaplin Theatre on February 03, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Amanda Edwards/Getty Images)

The family of the 81-year-old philanthropist issued a statement Friday asking that instead of sending flowers, donations be made to MLK Health and Wellness Development Corporation for the Jaqueline Avant Memorial Fund for the new MLK Children's Center in Watts.

To donate in Avant's name, checks can be sent to P.O. Box 811473, Los Angeles, CA 90081 or by visiting

Avant was killed Wednesday in a shooting at the home she shared with her husband, legendary music executive Clarence Avant. Police say a parolee who was taken into custody at the burglary of a Los Angeles home shortly after Avant's killing is the prime suspect.

Her husband was widely known as the "Godfather of Black Music," having worked with musicians from Louis Armstrong to Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, but Avant was never far from his side and was known for her philanthropic work across Los Angeles.

"I cannot express how overwhelmingly pained I am at the loss of such a beautiful person as Jackie Avant," Danny Bakewell Sr., the owner of The Los Angeles Sentinel, said in a statement. "There are no human beings more kind and generous than Clarence and Jackie, and for their home and their lives to be violated in such a violent manner is unconscionable."

She served as president of the Neighbors of Watts, a child care support group in South LA, on the board of directors of the International Student Center at UCLA, and the board of the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills. Avant was mourned before Wednesday's night's performance of "Love Actually Live" at the Wallis, which said they were devastated by the "profoundly sad news."

"Jacquie was the kindest, most beautiful, humble and generous soul, who loved and appreciated The Wallis," Executive Director and CEO Rachel Fine said in the statement.

A moment of silence was observed for Avant before the performance, which was dedicated in her honor.

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