Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Clay Aiken Fans Recap Gala 2009

GALA MEMORIES - AmazingCA's graphic of 2009 Gala moments features photos by toni7babe.

Throughout Clay Cyberspace

Gala Continues in Prime Time

The National Inclusion Project's Gala ended Saturday night, but the 2009 event is still the primo topic on Clay Aiken message boards as fans continue recollecting the charity's annual celebratory gathering.

Speeches by co-founders Clay Aiken and Diane Bubel, as well as Jerry Aiken, executive director, highlighted successes of the past season and expansion plans for the future.

An excellent overview of the singer's UNC-Charlotte special ed project-turned-foundation, the 2009 name change, and the expanding programs of the National Inclusion Project appeared in the Philanthropy Journal Monday.

The group mainly develops a curriculum, and provides training and funding, to "help open doors" and provide an "inclusive offering" for kids who attend summer camps and after-school programs.

With assets just over $1 million, Jerry Aiken says, the nonprofit in the year ended Dec. 31, 2008, provided over $825,000 in funding for 31 different programs throughout the United States.

And with a $500,000 federal grant, the group over three years developed an evidence-based inclusive service-learning curriculum that teachers in elementary, middle and high schools can use to talk to their students about disabilities and help them select a community-service project.

Supporters were amazed to learn that the Project's programs have been embraced by Boston University's Camp Shriver. The Shriver director, who has described the Project’s "Let's All Play" camp curriculum as "genius," plans to adopt the program into their model.

'Dinner with Sean' Auction - Video by bigappleforclay

Saturday's live auction yielded $184,200. Total funds raised by various entities of the Gala are still being tallied by the foundation. The video by bigappleforclay captures some of Saturday's live auction fun during bidding for dinner with drummer Sean McDaniel.

Dinner for 10 with Clay went for $41,000 while three fans paid $1,000 to share a meal with Sean. Among other popular bids were "A Day with Clay," $45,000; the "Back for More" original, $23,000; the American Idol "Bridge Over Troubled Water" shirt, $10,000.

Inclusion Champions Honored

Champions trophies were presented to these deserving honorees:
  • The Sparkle Effect, a nonprofit organization founded by Sarah Cronk and Sarah Herr, varsity cheerleaders at Pleasant Valley High School in Bettendorf, IA, to incorporate children of all abilities.

  • Mitsubishi Electric, recipient of the corporate award, for the Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation which helps young people with disabilities maximize their potential and participation in society.

  • Patrick Henry Hughes, a student with substantial disabilities who plays multiple instruments in the University Louisville Marching Band; Patrick John Hughes, his father; and Dr. Gregory P. Byrne, UL band director. Read about their inspirational story at the Patrick Henry Hughes website and in the 8/6/09 Carolina entry.

Gala Medley 2009 - Montage by Yollie950

Using segments of Saturday's song set, Yollie950 created a Gala Medley 2009 montage that highlights "Grace of God," "My Eyes Adored You," "As long as We're Here," and "Moon River."

Wednesday via Facebook and Twitter Clay thanked fans and supporters who helped the National Inclusion project win the top $10,000 prize in the Christie Cookie Charity Giveaway.
Clay Aiken: Thanks to everyone that voted in the Christie Cookie Charity Giveaway. Your votes were enough to put us back in the top spot!! A $10,000 check was presented to the National Inclusion Project last weekend at their annual gala. This would not have been possible without you all. Christie Cookies Results Page

The check was presented at the Gala Saturday, and the Nashville-based cookie company posted all winners on their website Sunday. Caps of both are clickable below. Additional Gala photos can be viewed on the Facebook page for Christie Cookies.

Sue O'Donnell (R) with Diane and Clay at Gala.

Below is a clickable of AmazingCA's opening graphic:

Have an awesome week, Clay Nation!


TECHNORATI TAGS: , National Inclusion Project, , , , , , , , ,


SueReu said...

Thanks for the recap caro!! I had such an amazing time at the Gala!!

Clay Aiken sure knows how to throw a Gala :D

Great graphic and wonderful videos!!

Ashes said...

Wonderful recap of Clay Aiken's newest Champions Gala!!
So many interesting things, but one that really jumps out at me is the Camp Shriver information--Awesome!
Love Yollie950's montage. Now back to reading more :)
Thanks Caro.


Expensive, thank you for the recaps, it is so touching to see when Clay has achieved Aiken with their foundation

Anonymous said...

Great blog about the gala!
So proud of Clay and the NIP!

Thanks, Caro!


Anonymous said...

You did a nice job , love the blog. NIP has allot to be proud of and anyone that helped in any way should be proud too:) Thanks for the blog, you never disappoint ! Donna in WI.

Anonymous said...

Hi Caro,

You never cease to amaze me!!!....

Wonderful blog, your recap of the Gala is awesome. I love the videos, I have watched them several times already.

Hope you are feeling better.


musicfan said...

Caro......your recap of the Gala is wonderful. I am so proud to be a support of The National Inclusion Project.

Thank you for this wonderful blog.

katy said...

Great recap and what a lot of fun everyone had at the Gala. I was happy to live through all of you, and am so proud of Clay Aiken and all he has achieved.

lulu said...

The pics and vids from the Gala are great. Clay Aiken looks and sounds wonderful.

tree~ said...

Another wonderful event this year!! And another wonderful blog, caro! Loved the bidding bit for the "dinner with Sean". LOL

IamMesmerized said...

I think this Gala will be remembered for a long, long time. Clay pulled out all the stops and auctioned off some amazing items ... a Day with Clay????? OMG!

Thanks to the many Clack gatherers who enabled us all to "attend" the Gala.

And thanks to you, Caro, for an excellent job, as usual. :)

Anonymous said...

Wonderful recap! Thank you so much!

What an amazing night and what an amazing organization

Clay Aiken, Diane Bubel and the rest have done an amazing job!

Anonymous said...

I love Clay Aiken, I love his passion to help the children.

LovesClaysVoice said...

Great graphics and videos Caro! Thanks for the wonderful recap of the gala! It was so good to see and hear Clay again!

musicfan said...

I was lucky enough to be at the Gala and it was a wonderful night. Every bit of the night was exciting and I was so proud!!

Thank you for this wonderful blog!!

stargazer said...

Another wonderful Clay Aiken blog. Thanks.

T said...

Caro, great blog with all the highlights & recaps of the Gala. I've enjoyed watching the video and laughed at Clay's comments on the bidding with Sean. Also, wonderful montage of the Gala medley. So glad that the gala was successful and everyone who attended had a terrific time.

Thanks so much Caro and also, for including the blend in your opening.

Cheers and have a wonderful weekend.


CCOL4HIM said...

Great post0! That Day with Clay makes me wish I'd won the lottery :D-but it wasn't on the online auction anyway. I disd bid for the rocking horse-some one else won it. Take care and God bless. Love always, Cynthia

ImGranny said...

Thank you for the wonderful recap of the Gala. It made me feel like I was there! Clay Aiken did a great job on the Gala!