Tuesday, November 10, 2009

National Inclusion Project: 2009 Champions For Change Gala Report


Supporters of The National Inclusion Project helped to raise over $465,000 at its recent gala honoring 2009 Champions. The inspirational evening was held October 17, 2009 at the Raleigh Marriott City Center in North Carolina. The funds raised will be used to give children with disabilities the opportunity to experience life along side their typical peers.

The gala benefit celebration featured Champions presentations and addresses by Project co-founders Diane Bubel and Clay Aiken. Attendees had the opportunity to participate in both a silent and a live auction in support of the Project’s programs. The Project received funding support from the Million Dollar Round Table and Christies Cookies and the night concluded with a special performance by Clay Aiken.

The National Inclusion Project’s Champions are selected for their substantive efforts to give children with disabilities the opportunity to play, learn and grow side-by-side with their typical peers.

This year’s honorees were:

Mitsubishi Electric & Electronics USA, Inc
., Corporate Champion: Mitsubishi Electric & Electronics USA, Inc. continually demonstrates its outstanding commitment to help young people with disabilities to maximize their potential and participation in society. The Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation has had a sizeable impact since it was established in 1991: more than $9 million invested, affecting the lives of many thousands of young people with disabilities, their families, friends and communities. Added to that total are thousands of employee volunteer hours and the transformation of individuals, one life at a time.

Dr. Gregory P. Byrne, Patrick Henry Hughes, and Patrick John Hughes:
Patrick Henry Hughes was born in 1988 with significant disabilities. His father, Patrick John Hughes, introduced him to the piano at the age of nine months. Patrick has studied piano in the years since and later began the study of trumpet. At the suggestion of Louisville's marching band director, Dr. Greg Byrne, Patrick Henry joined the marching band, playing trumpet while his father pushed him in his wheelchair through the marching routines, which attracted increasing crowd and media attention throughout the fall football season. The Hughes family has used this platform to speak on the importance of recognizing the abilities of ALL and the importance of inclusion for a person’s social, mental and physical well-being.

The Sparkle Effect:
Sarah Cronk and Sarah Herr, two varsity cheerleaders from Pleasant Valley High School are being honored as Champions for founding The Sparkle Effect - a nonprofit organization that encourages high school students across the United States to include children with special needs on cheerleading squads. By providing guidance, peer mentoring, and online tools to enable high school students to fully integrate cheerleading squads, they have changed life experiences for teenagers across the country and the awareness they have created will continue to impact generations to come.

Diane Bubel and Clay Aiken also awarded the first Bubel Aiken Founder’s Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service to Marti Ford for her efforts to place the National Inclusion Project’s children’s book, Our Friend Mikayla, in hundreds of schools and libraries in the Las Vegas area. It was through grassroots volunteer efforts that the National Inclusion Project was started and has been able to make huge strides for inclusion nationwide. Marti Ford is just one example of many working together to continue to fulfill the Project’s mission of supporting communities with inclusive programs and creating awareness about the possibilities that inclusion can bring.

About Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation: Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation (MEAF) was established in 1991 by the Mitsubishi Electric Corporation and its US subsidiaries, with the mission of helping young people with disabilities maximize their potential and participation in society. Based in the Washington DC area, MEAF has invested more than $3.2 million since 2003 in its Inclusion Initiative to help organizations like Boys & Girls Clubs, Girl Scouts, and the YMCAs serve more youth with disabilities. www.meaf.org

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Sunday, November 08, 2009

A Surprise Visit

Clay appeared as a surprise guest (a surprise to him too) at the David Foster and Friends concert at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, CA friday evening. Clay sang a stunning version of "Unchained Melody" at David's request. Luckily, he knew the lyrics. *g*


Sunday, September 20, 2009

Cookies for Dollars

Nominate the National Inclusion Project for the a cash prize in the Christie Cookie $25,000 Charity Giveaway. The most nominated charity will receive a check for $10,000. The runner-up wins $5,000, and the next 10 will receive $1,000 each.

One vote per email address. Vote with as many e-mail addresses that you have at your disposal.

Go to the drop down menu and search for National Inclusion Project. Fill out remaining fields and hit submit. You will get a 'thank you for voting' message.

Nominations must be submitted on or before October 15, 2009. The winning charities will be announced in November 2009. One vote per email address.

Currently, the Top 20 charities are:
Updated: 9/20/2009 / 05:55 CST
1. Nazarene Compassionate Ministries Lenexa, KS 8751
2. Young Singers Foundation Tulsa, OK 8566
3. Ronald McDonald House Winston-Salem, NC 3717
4. United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation Pittsburgh, PA 3518
5. Child Advocacy Center Murfreesboro, TN 3452
6. Kyle David Miller Foundation Golden, CO 3383
7. Liz Logelin Foundation Minnetonka, MN 3324
8. Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance Silver Spring, MD 2473
9. Franklin's Charge/Franklin Battlefield Franklin, TN 2373
10. Miriam's Promise Nashville, TN 2269
11. Camp Rap-A-Hope Mobile, AL 2246
12. National Inclusion Project Raleigh, NC 1854
13. High Hope Inc. Brentwood, TN 1566
14. National Autism Association Nixa, MO 1501
15. NBIA Disorders Association El Cajon, CA 1431
16. Saddle Up Franklin Nashville, TN 1281
17. Ronald McDonald House of Nashville, TN 1271
18. Hope 4 Africa West Des Moines, IA 1254
19. C.O.L.E.'s Foundation 1169
20. A Place to Bark Portland, TN 1047

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Spotlight Video: As Long As We're Here

Don't miss this beautiful video made by a Columbian Clay Aiken fan. The song "As Long As We're Here" is set to images from the film City of Angels.

~Montage by ClayColumbia

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Monday, August 10, 2009

It's Here: A New Record Label

From Clay Online:

We Are Excited To Announce...


Clay Aiken signs record deal with Universal Music’s Decca Records. Expect new music in the first half of 2010! Keep checking back here for more details to come.

Clay joins a very eclectic roster of artists:

* Claudia Acuna
* Clifton Anderson
* Bajofondo
* Andrea Bocelli
* Richard Bona
* Neal E. Boyd
* Boyz II Men
* Branford Marsalis Quartet
* James Carter
* Celtic Thunder
* Paula Cole
* Paolo Conte
* Corrigan Brothers
* Placido Domingo
* East Village Opera Company
* Marianne Faithfull
* Roberta Gambarini
* David Garrett
* Gary Go
* Delta Goodrem
* Charlie Haden
* Roy Hargrove
* Dave Holland
* Brendan James
* James
* Katherine Jenkins
* Kaki King
* Sonya Kitchell
* Ladyhawke
* Julian Lage
* Lee Ritenour & Dave Grusin
* Amy Macdonald
* Alison Moyet
* Debi Nova
* One Flew South
* Danilo Perez
* Andre Previn
* Proclaimers, The
* Rhythms del Mundo
* Sonny Rollins
* David Sanborn
* Boz Scaggs
* John Scofield
* Siouxsie
* Faryl Smith
* Emma Sophina
* Sting
* Anna Ternheim
* The Waterboys
* Vittorio
* Rufus Wainwright
* Tommy Wallach
* Hayley Westenra
* World Café Live
* Miguel Zenon

From Wikipedia:

Today, Decca is a leading label for both classical music and Broadway scores although it is branching out into pop music from established recording stars; its most recent hit was Motown: A Journey Through Hitsville USA (2007) by Boyz II Men, which reached #27 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart. In December 2007 [ed.]and had a cumulative sales of 228,732 per Pulse, it was announced that Morrissey would be joining the Decca roster. As mentioned, it is reentering the American country music scene in 2008. There are two Universal Music label groups now using the Decca name. The Decca Label Group is the US label whereas the London-based Decca Music Group runs the international classical and pop releases by such world famous performers as Andrea Bocelli and Hayley Westenra.

Congratulations Clay!!!

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