Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Fans Celebrate Clay Aiken's Birthday with $50k Grant

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! - The Clay Nation hopes to deliver a $50,000 Pepsi Refresh grant for the National Inclusion Project as a gift for Clay Aiken, the foundation's co-founder. Graphic by Fountaindawg.

#2 NIP in Line for $50k Grant

CA Fans Mark Birthday by Voting

Two important events headline the network of Clay Aiken message boards -- a continuous Cyber celebration of the singer's 33rd birthday and the final push to provide his foundation, the National Inclusion Project, a $50,000 Pepsi Refresh grant.

The latter would be one of the best birthday gifts fans could give Clay, whose commitment to connecting children with special needs to all life has to offer was his focus as a special education major prior to the American Idol step into fame.

UPDATE: It's official! The National Inclusion Project will be awarded a $50,000 Pepsi Refesh grant from November's competition. The banner replica links to the NIP's finalist page at the Pepsi site:

In July 2003, during the American Idol 2 Tour, Clay and Diane Bubel of Charlotte co-founded the Bubel/Aiken Foundation, renamed the National Inclusion Project in 2009.

Amid the Clay Cyber cavalcade of birthday greetings with accompanying art work are reminders to pull out all the stops, vote with every available account, and recruit new supporters in the final hours of the grant campaign, which ironically ends at midnight on the singer's 32nd birthday.

Vote 3 ways to expand inclusive programs for all children.

New participants need to register at the Pepsi Refresh site (bottom left corner) and vote three ways: US-based email, Facebook, and by sending a mobile phone text: 109857 to 73774 (Pepsi).

The NIP Voting Widget in the sidebar includes links and text numbers for the Inclusion Project, as well as partner charities that have supported the foundation this past month.

National Inclusion Project supporters hope to mark the midnight hour of Clay's birthday with the close of a successful campaign for a $50k Pepsi grant for inclusion!

To help celebrate the day, here are clickable birthday wallpapers by graphic artists Fountaindawg, 1, 3, and AmazingCA, 2.

'In My Life' a Tribute to Teachers

As a music instructor from a long line of educators, I especially was touched that Clay performed John Lennon's "In My Life" as a tribute to the teachers in his life during the 2010 Tried & True Live! PBS Special.

On such an important day in his life, I think it appropriate that Clay sign off this blog entry with that exquisite rendition.

In My Life from Clay Aiken: Tried & True ~ LIVE!
View video full screen at YouTube.

Happy Birthday, Clay! Have a wonderfully productive day, Clay Nation!


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Clay Aiken Fans Recruit Thanksgiving Voters

MERRY THANKSGIVOWEEN: Seasonal celebrations collide.
Cartoon by Mike Thompson of the Detroit Free Press.

Group Texts Before Turkey Dinner!

Holiday Commemorations Merge

Due to their proximity on the calendar and the influence of commercial activity, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas celebrations have so effectively merged that the appropriate seasonal greeting could easily be "Merry Thanksgivoween!"

The spooks of Halloween have come and gone, families are gathering for Thanksgiving Day festivities, while from radio stations from Schenectady to Spokane, Pensacola to Phoenix have begun broadcasting the third stanza of "Merry Thanksgivoween" with Clay Aiken Christmas carols.

Among the CA vocals decking the airwaves with a joyful noise are "O Holy Night," "The First Noel," "Don't Save It All for Christmas Day," "Merry Christmas with Love," and "Winter Wonderland."

Thanksgiving graphic links to 'All Is Well' montage by SueReu.

The Thanksgiving graphic by A Beautiful Mind links to SueReu's montage of "All Is Well," celebrating the second and third stanzas of the "Merry Thanksgivoween" triology.

Holidays Provide Pepsi Alternatives

Creative voting is the key in the National Inclusion Project's $50k grant campaign while visiting family and friends this Thanksgiving weekend. Daily votes for the NIP, partners, and allies via the Pepsi site, Facebook, and mobile phone are a must for regulars if the foundation is to remain in the Top 10.

Thanksgiving Weekend provides supporters with new voting recruits. Hold daily group texts --109857 to 73774 (Pepsi) -- with all who gather for holiday meals, games, and other weekend festivities.

Make sure all eligible (US citizens 13 and older) guests who can access an email account vote for the NIP during the holidays. Use the voting widget in the Carolina sidebar for ease in voting. Print and pass out these Thanksgiving fliers to garner new text votes.

Double clickable/printable NIP Pepsi fliers.

B/W double clickable/printable fliers.

Facebook Poll Offers More Ideas

Earlier this week, Scarlett posted this survey on her Facebook wall. The points in her poll provide excellent suggestions for garnering additional votes this holiday weekend.

If you are a site member, drop by her corner and take the poll. You can also share additional ideas in the comment section of this blog.

How will you increase Pepsi Refresh votes for the NIP during Thanksgiving Week?

1. Don't serve Thanksgiving turkey until everyone texts.
2. Vote early in the morning before the bedlam begins.
3. Vote at halftime, grab the remote and hold it hostage until people text, too.
4. Ask a friend to take care of your votes.
5. Vote before starting the car to drive anywhere, all passengers included.
6. Print out the NIP Pepsi Refresh fliers and hand them out wherever you go.
7. Register ID's of hosts/visitors so they can vote at the Pepsi site.
8. Vote late at night when the house is quiet again.
9. Add your suggestion.

For Clay Aiken fans who have followed tweets and photo trickles throughout the taping of a certain TV show in New York City, below are double clickable graphics by Fountaindawg -- for which we can be thankful. The second is wide screen.

Merry Thanksgivoween, Clay Nation and all you hold dear!

Thanksgiving design by Linda/ABM

Happy Thanksgiving e-cards in four styles to all who drop by the Carolina/OFC blogs throughout the year!
Thanksgiving with a Beat

Simple Gifts

Glorious Thanksgiving

Turkey Day Hoedown

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Clay Aiken Fans Add Nifty Fliers to Pepsi Campaign

INCLUSION FOR ALL CHILDREN - Inclusion is giving people their rightful opportunity to participate. Through after-school programs and summer camps, the NIP seeks to ensure that no child sits on the sidelines.

For $50k Pepsi Grant

Info Fliers Boost NIP Voting Pool

With the aid of dedicated supporters and reciprocating charities, the National Inclusion Project continues to hold the #2 slot for a November Pepsi Refresh $50k grant.

A tour of Clay Aiken message boards, Facebook, and Twitter yields constant reminders to vote and expand the voting pool for the charity co-founded by the singer in 2003. After today, readers of this blog can add fliers to their list of tools.

In the three-pronged daily Pepsi Refresh voting process, the quickest methods are by Facebook and text. The Pepsi site requires more time and patience, but dedicated followers persevere in rendering five votes per registered ID -- one each for the National Inclusion Project plus four reciprocating causes.

Links/text numbers for the NIP's partners and allies are included on the voting widget in the Carolina sidebar. A crash course in the voting procedure with a suggested comment to leave at partner sites is provided in the VOTE panel.

Like the widget, the fliers were designed and produced by Scarlett.

Double clickable/printable NIP Pepsi fliers.

Fan Garners Votes with Fliers

One of the most creative supporters in spreading the Pepsi fliers throughout her community is queenmama247. The minute these were posted on message boards her printer went into overdrive.

The single fliers can be inserted or attached to emails to family, friends, and associates. Below are some of queenmama's uses for the fliers. Post yours in the comment section and I will add them to the blog proper.

1. Leave fliers at your hair salon, and ask if one can be posted in the window.
2. Take fliers to your local hardware store, paint store, flower shop, library, laundromat, and hospital cafeteria.
The big stores aren't too receptive, but the small neighborhood stores are so kind. Most of them will put the fliers by the register. - queenmama

3. If you are attending a wedding, baby shower, or other social gathering, have the guests text a vote together. Keep the volume turned up, and the return replies will be amazing!

During last summer's Pepsi Refresh drive,
queenmama secured 200 text votes at her niece's wedding reception.

B/W double clickable/printable fliers.

4. Enlist the aid of a high school student. In many schools, assisting with this project counts toward community service credit, a high school graduation requirement.
My high school neighbor plans to see how many people he can get to text at football games and other sports events. He likes challenges. With permission, he posted a flier on the high school bulletin board. - queenmama

5. Pass the fliers out at church on Sundays and Wednesdays.

Don't forget to share the ways these fliers are helping you spread the word about the National Inclusion Project's Pepsi Refresh campaign.

Clay Aiken in New York City. - Clickable photo enhanced by Sally.

Those who are following the taping of a certain TV show in New York City will recognize the above photo of Clay as one that ran at Reality Aired on Nov. 11.

In a matter of minutes, CA fans cropped the singer and produced a profile that spread to the far reaches of Clay Cyberspace. The double clickable enhanced today by Sally is one you just might want to right-click and save.

Have an awesome week, Clay Nation!

For more information about the Inclusion Project's participation in the Pepsi Refresh, see the 11/4 blog: Clay Aiken Fans Champion Charities.

The 11/4 entry also contains previews and order info for the 2012 Clay Aiken Calendars. Order deadline is 11/22, so link to the 11/4 blog ... SOON!

Friday, November 04, 2011

Clay Aiken Fans Champion Charities

National Inclusion Project - Inclusion is giving people their rightful opportunity to participate. The NIP works every day to ensure no child sits on the sidelines.

For Pepsi Refresh Challenge

Inclusion Project Sets $50K Goal

National Inclusion Project supporters stormed out of the gate the first of November and claimed the #2 position of this month's Pepsi Refresh campaign for a $50,000 grant for the charity.

The foundation, co-founded
by singer Clay Aiken and Diane Bubel in July 2003, must finish in the top 10 to win a November grant.

Through a variety of programs, including the Let's All Play Camps,
the National Inclusion Project seeks to ensure that no child sits on the sidelines. Read more about the NIP at the foundation's website.

Register for a daily voting reminder at the NIP website. If the Inclusion Project wins a November grant, your name will be in a raffle drawing for an Apple iPad2. The daily email is excellent for forwarding to friends, relatives, and associates who will help the charity attain its goal.

Vote 3 ways to expand inclusive programs for all children.

The rules have changed since friends of the foundation successfully secured a Pepsi grant in December 2010.

* The Inclusion Project must win in November as there is no rollover from month to month.

* Advocates can vote 3 ways: via a registered Pepsi account, Facebook, and a daily text of #109857 to Pepsi (73774).

* Supporters have 5 votes for each avenue everyday, but only one NIP vote per method. Distribute the other four votes to charities supporting the foundation. These are listed in the NIP Voting Widget in this blog's sidebar.

* After each Pepsi/Facebook vote for the foundation's partners and allies, click on the Back to the Idea Page tab (upper left corner) to leave a comment. Reciprocating charities will return votes to the NIP accordingly.

* Best of all, there are no Pepsi power codes in this month's competition.

On Nov. 30, there will be 10 winners in the $50k category, now the highest award possible. Longtime supporters know the early momentum must be maintained in order to secure the grant.

Widget Makes Voting a Snap

A tremendous tool for Project supporters is the voting widget created by Scarlett with reciprocal info gathered by Royalle.

Jerry Aiken, executive director of the National Inclusion Project, not only approved the widget but also asked that supporters be reminded to vote all three ways. "We lose much-needed votes when people take the easiest route and text vote only."

Fresh off the press, the voting widget below links you directly to causes supporting the NIP.

Create your own comment, but be sure to include the NIP Pepsi page address and text number. Here is a sample:
The National Inclusion Project just voted for you. Thank you for your return votes! and Text 109857.

The widget will be available here and in the Carolina sidebar throughout November.

2012 Clay Aiken Calendars - Order by Nov. 22!
Tried & True wall calendar cover is clickable.

2012 Calendar Deadline Approaches

The 2012 Clay Aiken Calendars are going back to the Gala as auction items. But before that, fans of the singer can order Tried & True wall or desk versions through the project's coordinator.

Produced annually by
with photos by toni7babe, the 2012 calendar features images predominately from the 2011 Tried & True Tour and is again being published in desk and wall versions.

Hippoga, also part of the 2012 team, helped select the photos and coordinated the inclusion of 20 calendars in the silent auction for the Dec. 9-10 Champions Gala, annual event of the National Inclusion Project in Raleigh, NC.

Sample of monthly desk calendars. Double click to enlarge.

The calendars, printed on premium glossy card stock, can be ordered through Rosaratana between now and Nov. 22. Costs include $12 for the desk size (8.27" x 3.74") and $25 for the wall version (11" x 8.5").
To place calendar orders, Paypal or email Rosa at by Nov. 22. Checks are accepted, and she will email you the address. Process time between orders received to calendars printed and shipped is approximately 3-4 weeks.

As in the past six years, all proceeds after costs will be donated to the National Inclusion Project. Thought not an official NIP fundraiser, this project is sponsored annually by the Together for Inclusion Alpha Chapter of Aiken 4Clay.

The 2011 calendars generated a foundation donation of $965.62 through sales plus an additional $650 in Gala auctions.

Completed orders will be mailed by the first week of December.

Clickables by dancerdad.

Celebrity Apprentice Sneak Peeks

If you are following Clay Aiken message boards, tweets, or Facebook posts, you are no doubt aware that our guy is involved in another NIP fundraiser through Celebrity Apprentice.

The clickable photos above by dancerdad were taken during filming of a Celebrity Apprentice task for the show's 2012 telecast. Thursday's sale of New York City guidebooks by the men's team was well-documented by dancerdad and other Big Apple residents.

Have an awesome weekend, Clay Nation!