Sunday, October 18, 2009

Top Prize to Clay Aiken's Charity

HIGH NOTE -- Clay Aiken and Diane Bubel, co-founders of the National Inclusion Project, opened the 2009 Champions Gala on a high note in Raleigh Saturday. Photo by toni7babe.

National Inclusion Project

Supporters Cheer Charity Win

At Saturday's Champions Gala surrounded by faithful supporters, Clay Aiken and Diane Bubel, co-founders of the National Inclusion Project, were presented a $10,000 check as the leading charity in the Christie Cookies Giveaway.

A Hollywood screenwriter could not have scripted a more rewarding scenario. Supporters greeted the announcement by Sue O'Donnell, Christie Cookies representative, with a standing ovation and extended cheering.

In turn, Ms. O'Donnell enjoyed a front row seat as the year's successful programs were celebrated, champions of inclusion honored, and the foundation's fundraising began anew with the gala's lively -- and silent -- auctions.

As planned, the Nashville-based company announced all giveaway winners on their website Sunday. For the complete story, see Christie Cookies Announces Winning Charities. Here is part of the press release:

Top Prize to Aiken's National Inclusion Project

NASHVILLE, Tenn., Oct. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Christie Cookies ( today announced the 12 winning charities in its $25,000 Charity Giveaway, with the top prize of $10,000 going to the National Inclusion Project, co-founded by Clay Aiken and Diane Bubel.

The check was presented Saturday night at the National Inclusion Project's Champions Gala in Raleigh, N.C. Aiken and Bubel accepted the check on behalf of the organization, which is dedicated to inclusion and empowerment for individuals with disabilities.

"We've been fortunate and wanted to celebrate our 25th anniversary by giving something to nonprofits that help people every day," said Fleming Wilt, president of The Christie Cookie Company. "So we held an online contest to let customers vote for causes they love. We're thrilled that more than 300,000 people visited our website to vote, and we congratulate all the winners."

Bubel said, "It was so wonderful to see our supporters get behind this, get excited and help raise funds for the project."

The second prize of $5,000 went to the Child Advocacy Center of Rutherford County, Tenn., which helps abused and neglected children and their families.

Click to enlarge screen cap of the Charity Giveaway page.

"Thanks to everyone who voted," said Wilt. "We know these organizations need support and we are happy to help."

And Then Clay Sang ...

No Gala is complete without the entertainment portion provided by Clay & Friends. Joined by a band of musicians from New York, he sang four songs, two from the On My Way Here album ("Grace of God" and "As Long As We're Here") plus "My Eyes Adored You" and "Moon River."

Among thousands listening internationally via cellcert, I was thrilled with his selections. Clay's vocal nuances and interpretation made MR exquisite. Here is an audio file of Moon River recorded by Farouche. In Starfishy's video, which can also be viewed on YouTube, Clay extends final thank-you's before singing MR.

Clay sings Moon River to close Gala - video by Starfishy.

For a complete recap of the 2009 Gala, see musicfan123's post at the Clay Aiken News Network blog.

CA Fans Seek 'Challenge' Donations

Supporters of the National Inclusion Project are also involved in America's Giving Challenge on Facebook in which the charity with the most donations through Nov. 7 will win a $50,000 top prize.

Voting (a donation of at least $10) can take place one time between 3 p.m. and 2:59 p.m. the following day. Daily awards are logged for the top two charities within each 24-hour period. The National Inclusion Project won $1,000 winner on Oct. 7 and $500 runner-up on Oct. 11.

No matter which charity wins the big money, the donations will aid the foundation. Check Clay Aiken message boards and Clayonline for the plan of action. Supporters who can only donate once are urged to do so in the Sunday 3 p.m. - Monday 2:59 p.m. time period.

Encourage friends and family to become involved in the cause for inclusion. Post links, info, and blogs about the Giving Challenge at Facebook and other web sites.

Links to these montages will help explain the foundation's mission and accomplishments to others: Power of the Dream by LovesClaysVoice, National Inclusion Project by SueReu, and What It's All About, Clay's speech at the 2008 Gala, posted by Wowzers4Clay.

Have an awesome week, Clay Nation!


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Ashes said...

Three Cheers for Clay Aiken and the National Inclusion Project for another successful Champions Gala!
The presentation of the $10,000 winning cheque from Christie Cookies really topped it off.

Of course for me a top hightlight was hearing Clay sing Moon River and My Eyes Adored You..I totally swooned!

Thank you for the great blog Caro!!


Hi Caro. Thanks
I missed your blog.
I believe that everything was fabulous, I love Clay and I'm happy of listen to it again and to know that the Gala was so successful


T said...

Bravo Clay Aiken and to you Caro for another great blog. Loved the recap of last night's gala event. It's so exciting to see the $10,000 cheque from Christie Cookies & the National Inclusion Project winning it.

Seeing Clay sing "Moon River" brought back so much great memories and tears. It's so good hearing him sing one of my favorite song.

Again, thank you for bringing us a superb blog.

Cheers Caro!


Anonymous said...

Hi Caro,

What an exciting evening we had last night. I am so happy for Clay and Diane and the Whole NIP Team....a very sucessful evening for sure!

The $10,000 from Christie's Cookies was awesome....#1, I just knew we could do it!!

It sounds like fun was had by all.....and Thanks to the "clack" gatheres, we all had a great evening also!

Have a great week!


MissSally said...

Clay and Moon River, be still my heart! He sings it better than anyone.

chel4clay said...

It was an awesome evening, that I can tell you. I won't ever forget the wonderful people I met and those that took me under wing since I was a newbie to a Gala. Clay was awesome as always and the NIP Gala was successful. I loved MR and MEAY, haven't heard them in years and Clay's touch made it extra special.

Ashes said...


Thanks for stopping by my blog today. Just like many other fans of Clay and his beautiful music, I've been watching videos all morning, and have to admit that Moon River is still holding top spot in my heart! MEAY, GOG & ALAWH aren't far behind :)

Anonymous said...

Liked your blog...good job! Happy for NIP and ALL who helped make it a success! Donna in Wi.

PaulaBear said...

I'll add a few more cheers for Clay Aiken and his National Inclusion Project. He and Diane Bubel have done an amazing job guiding their foundation!

katy said...

I'm happy for Clay that the Gala was such a success, and that the NIP won the top prize in the Christies Cookies Contest with the help of his loyal fans.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for this wonderful araticle. You're amazing and Clay too. I'm so happy his foundation won 1st prize for the Christie Cookies because we all voted as best as we could everyday. Amazinmg what team work can do. Congrat CLAY! From Rosa in Marysville, WA

Anonymous said...

I am so proud of Clay Aiken and his National Inclusion Project. What a wonderful night it was, and Clay's singing was just the icing on the cake.

musicfan said...

Caro......another treat to read.

I was lucky enough to attend the Gala. Every bit of it was wonderful. Thank you for all the information.

Kallie said...

What a wonderful picture of Clay Aiken and Diane Bubel. The National Inclusion Project has done so much and come so far.

lulu said...

Caro, love your blog and you do keep us up to date with Clay Aiken info.

anaturegirl said...

I am so thrilled that the Gala was such a huge success and NIP can continue it's fantastic work toward inclusion. Love the fact the fans banned together to win the $10,000 for such a great cause.

And what a treat for everyone to hear Clay Aiken singing again.

Thanks Caro for your blog.


Clay Aiken is wonderful and I'm happy with the results obtained in the Champions gala this year. Thanks Caro

Truth Rules said...

Clay and Diane have put a lot of work and effort into the National Inclusion Project and it shows.

The $10,000 check from Christie Cookies was icing on the cake.

Congratulations on another successful gala and on the win.

It was great to hear Clay singing again and I'm looking forward to his new music in 2010.

SueReu said...

Congratulations to the National Inclusion Project! There was quite the cheer when the award was announced!!!

Wonderful evening, I had the time of my life, and the Project came out on top - what more could you ask?

Anonymous said...

Clay Aiken has always used his voice for the betterment of mankind It and he are a gift to all of us.

stargazer said...

Congratulations to the National Inclusion Project, to Clay Aiken and Diane Bubel.

Cheers to all the fans who worked so hard on the cookie challenge.

copingincalifornia said...

$10,000? Wow. How wonderful and thank you for the recap and pictures of the Gala evening. Clay Aiken and Diane Bubel must be bursting with pride.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great photo and story! Oh, how I would have loved to be at the Gala with all the lucky fans who were there. And I'm very happy to hear that his foundation came out on top in the cookie contest. I am loving all the photos and video that are available, thanks so much to those who were able to bring it to us. Congratulations to Clay and Diane for a successful gala!

clayitagain said...

Clay Aiken has always been a humanitarian...but now his foundation is just doing so well....and it's the kids that are benefiting from all of this..... I could not be prouder of Clay if I tried....An honourable man.... After only a few days after his grandfather's passing, Clay and his family still carried on.... His fans were thrilled to see and hear him again, after such a long time, but still healing from the surgery>..he is coming along nicely..his voice is just wonderful.... Hugs, Judy

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to the National Inclusion Project! Clay Aiken and Diane Bubel have worked tirelessly for 6 years to make this dream come true. I can't believe how far they have come. Loved his version of Moon River and My Eyes Adore YOu


Anonymous said...

Clay Aiken and the National Inclusion Project should be very proud of their many accomplishments throughout the last six years!

jbc4clay said...

Great news and love the video. He is amazing!

Anonymous said...

I love Clay Aiken!

Anonymous said...

I'm so proud of Clay Aiken and the National Inclusion Project.