On Thursday, November 10, American YouthWorks presented the 2016 Cliffy Award for Outstanding Philanthropic Legacy to Milton Verret. The Cliffy Award is presented to a member of the Austin community who exemplifies goodwill and generosity. The American YouthWorks staff and the Help Clifford Help Kids Event Committee are excited to honor Verret this year.
Owner of Moonshine Sweet Tea, Milton first learned about the importance of giving to others when he was a young boy working alongside his father in an appliance store in Beaumont. His dad went out of his way to help others improve their daily lives. Following in his father footsteps, Milton has become an Austin entrepreneur and philanthropist, giving personal donations totaling more than a million dollars to various organizations including American YouthWorks. With his generous support, American YouthWorks has been able to provide students with opportunities to build careers, strengthen communities, and improve the environment through education, on-the-job training, and service to others.
However, his most lucrative efforts – the ones he most enjoys– are from his role as Underwriter and Producer of major fundraising events. In 2011, the Cow Parade of Austin benefitting Dell Children’s Medical Center raised $1 million dollars and in 2014 the Texas Stampede for Children benefitting the designated charities (Cure Duchenne, Grounded in Music, Rise School of Austin, jk livin Foundation and Heart Gift) of the non-profit partnership of Mack Brown, Jack Ingram and Matthew McConaughey (MJ&M) raised $600,000 dollars.
In 2007, Milton spent nearly $100,000 to purchase giant guitars decorated by artists and signed by celebrities during the Austin Guitar Town project sponsored by the Gibson Foundation. The auction benefited the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians, Austin Children’s Museum, Austin Museum of Art, and American YouthWorks. Milton then donated the guitars to the City of Austin which has them permanently displayed at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.
The Verret Family legacy of helping others is being passed on to Milton’s four children and four grandchildren in the hope that the quality of life will improve for everyone in Austin.
Milton accepted the Cliffy Award at the 2016 Help Clifford Help Kids Gala at Austin City Limits Live at the Moody Theater.