Monday, May 07, 2007

Charity Fund-Raising Totals Celebrated

PERFECT COMBINATION -- Cindilu2's clever animation celebrates Clay Aiken "A Thousand Different Ways" in Rubik's Cube style.

TBAF Gala, Afghanistan Challenge

Fundraising Totals Celebrated

Fundraising tallies of $310,000 for The Bubel/Aiken Foundation's Champions of Change Gala and close to $182,000 with Clay Aiken's 10-day UNICEF challenge for Afghanistan are being celebrated this week at organization websites, as well as in the media.

Portions of both with links for the complete articles are printed below.

Inspirational Gala Nets $310,000

Supporters of The Bubel/Aiken Foundation had the opportunity to share in a most inspirational and memorable evening to benefit The Bubel/Aiken Foundation on March 31, 2007 at the Cardinal Club in Raleigh, NC.

The very special gathering was to celebrate and recognize the achievements of "Champions of Change" and to support the Foundation's mission of inclusion.

Awards of recognition for their efforts and continuous devotion to making a difference were presented to Jonathan Bunzey, the Youth Honoree, Coach Jim Johnson, State Farm Insurance, and The Voices of Beta Alpha Volunteers.

A Live Auction followed, and the generosity of the supporters was overwhelming. It was wonderful to see Clay Aiken interacting with the audience and the auctioneer in an effort that ended up surpassing all expectations.

By the end of the auction, Clay announced that the supporters had more than paid for the Foundation’s “Let’s ALL Play” summer camps for the entire 2007 summer. That was very gratifying to all the people who work so hard all year long to make this happen.

At the end of the evening, supporters had helped to raise over $310,000!

Read the complete story at TBAF website by clicking on the photo link below.

Link to 'An Inspirational Evening for All'

Fans Raise $181,783 for Afghanistan

RALEIGH - Through his fan network around the world, Raleigh resident and recording artist Clay Aiken has raised nearly $181,783 for children in war-torn Afghanistan.

The "$100,000 in 10 days" campaign was completed online at the end of April, after Aiken returned from a United Nations goodwill tour of Afghanistan.

The campaign reached half its goal in only a couple of days and had no problem raising well over the intended goals. The total amount raised was $139,778, as of April 18 and another $40,000+ after that, for a total of $181,783.

The full story with photos can be viewed at The Raleigh Chronicle.

PHOTO INTERLUDE: This clickable interlude features scenes from recent UNICEF and TBAF endeavors, past performances, and a glimpse into fan excitement for the Summer Tour of 2007. Graphic artists include Amazing_CA, 1, 2 (photo by Scrpkym), and 3, (photo by ClayIzzaQT); Ambassador of Love, 4; and MNmeesh, 5.

An Idol Who Really Gives Back

Posted by Laura Hertzfeld on Monday, this interview focuses on Clay's recent trip to Afghanistan. Below are the introduction and a sample. The story can be read in full at Yahoo Music.

Before charming the hearts of "American Idol" fans in 2003, singer Clay Aiken was a teacher, focusing on special education in his native North Carolina. Today, in addition to performing and recording, Clay acts as an education ambassador for UNICEF, most recently in post-Taliban Afghanistan.

Still jet-lagged, Clay told Yahoo! Music in his smooth drawl why "Idol Gives Back" won't solve the poverty problem, what it was like to grow a beard and wear long robes, and why he never sings when visiting schools abroad.

YAHOO! MUSIC: The "Idol Gives Back" charity event raised more than $70 million. Could you relate to what you saw your fellow idols doing in Africa and other places?

CLAY: I think there's definitely a problem -- and I'll point to recent charity events -- when people go and they talk about the need in an area or a country and they don't have the information. If you come back and you talk about the need in a country and don't know what's going on in the country, then you're completely remiss. There's always a greater cause [to poverty] than throwing money at the issue, and I think the strongest solution, the strongest weapon we have against poverty and hunger is education.

When you take a look at something like "Idol Gives Back" and you realize that the main piece of information we got is that people are hungry in Africa, but we didn't find out why they are hungry in Africa and we didn't out where in Africa they are hungry, nor did we find out the major causes. Without the education about what's going on in the country, we're doing no service except for perpetuating that same stereotype that Africa, or any other country in the world, is lesser than the U.S., and we're in the role that we have to give to them.

Not.Just.Us Stories Run the Gamut

There's nothing CA fans enjoy sharing more than Not.Just.Us stories, and these from Clayversity are special. Readers are welcome to add your N.J.U. experiences in the comments.

CTLover1 (Clayversity, May 07): I had almost given up on something like this happening to me, but it finally did. I had just gotten out of the car at WalMart and taken a few steps when a lady walking in the opposite direction spied the license plate on the front of my vehicle.

The license plate that I had placed there with pride, the one that I have had NOT ONE SINGLE comment on -- good or bad -- in two years. The one that reads, "I Love Clay Aiken." She looked at the plate, looked at me, grinned and said -- loudly and proudly -- "Doggone it! I love Clay Aiken, too!!!!!"

I'm still smiling.

Pngndancer (CV, Feb. 07): I was at the gas station yesterday, and the gal behind me at the pumps stopped me and asked me where I got my license plate holder [I'd Rather Be at a Clay Aiken Concert].

I told her and she offered to buy it from me. I told her it's not for sale. She's not on any boards and not an OFC member, so I gave her some info. Hopefully, she'll get on board because she really loves Clay.

Rainlover (CV, Jan. 07): I took my mother in for X-rays. On the way home she handed me a short list of things she needed from the grocery, so we stopped and she waited in the car while I went in to purchase her items.

I had on a Clay Aiken shirt. As I was checking out, the woman in line behind me said, "WHERE DID YOU GET THAT SHIRT?!?!?"

I told her I had purchased it at one of Clay's concerts. She went on to tell me how much she loves Clay, how much she loves his CDs, and that she never misses him when he is on TV.

I had finished checking out by then and was starting to leave when she added, "The best thing he's ever done was put his hand over Kelly Ripa's mouth."

Mother wondered why I was laughing when I got to the car.

CLAYPERFECT (CV, May 07): I have never been happier than I am right now. My niece Jessie called me tonight from Virginia. She was wounded in Iraq the last week of April.

She told me that when she was in Germany and about to go into surgery, she was thinking of me and requested they play "Measure of a Man" -- and they did! They HAD IT! A nurse told her they play it a lot and that most surgeons operating request it because it brings them peace and relaxes them.

The prognosis for Jessie is that she will not suffer any lasting effects from her injuries once she is healed and completes rehab. She is due to complete her service around June 1.

Below is a clickable of the Rubik's Clay Cube by Cindilu2:

Have a great week, Clay Nation -- counting down to Thursday night's appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live!


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1 comment:

Vox Vixen said...


Terrific recap as usual. I love the Yahoo Music interview and hope every Clay fan gets to read it. I'm a big fan of the stories as you know, so I always enjoy seeing them in your blog.