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An Open Letter from Co-Founders Clay Aiken and Diane Bubel:


An open letter from co-founders Clay Aiken and Diane Bubel:

The Bubel/Aiken Foundation grew out of the relationship between the two of us and Diane’s son, Mike, a 13 year old with autism. The bond between us grew strong as we shared a vision of a world where children like Mike could be fully immersed in society. We had both witnessed children with disabilities repeatedly turned away from activities opened to typical children. We met while Clay was pursuing a degree in special education at UNC-Charlotte. As part of that pursuit, Clay completed an independent study project where he created a foundation that focused on providing the support system for recreational and educational programs around the country to open doors to children with disabilities that had thus far remained closed. We realized that an organized effort could encourage and facilitate community inclusion and empowerment of individuals with disabilities. This shared goal grew into reality on July 28, 2003 when we officially announced the creation of The Bubel/Aiken Foundation.

In the six years since, the Foundation has established itself as a leading voice for inclusion working with a “Who’s Who” list of youth organizations – YMCAs, Best Buddies International, Boys & Girls Clubs, CampFire USA, 4H, the ARC – as well as many other local parks and recreation departments, community centers, and privately-run programs. The Foundation has formed partnerships with Johns Hopkins University’s National Center for Summer Learning, the University of Massachusetts-Boston’s Center for Social Development and Education, the University of New Hampshire’s Institute on Disability, the University of Minnesota’s Institute on Community Integration, and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill’s FPG Child Development Center.

In 2008, both of the Foundation’s cutting edge inclusion models – Let’s ALL Play and the K-12 Inclusive Service Learning Program – were closely evaluated with overwhelmingly positive results. Children with and without disabilities in these programs saw growth in motor skills, social skills, and self-esteem, and the impact of the friendships made will last long into the future.

In six years, the Foundation has worked with hundreds of programs, trained numerous staff members and leaders, and provided inclusive opportunities for over 20,000 children. This far-reaching impact would not have been possible without the dedicated support of countless volunteers and supporters. With your help in raising awareness and funds through projects like Wrapping for Inclusion and Change for Change as well as local fundraising efforts like cookbooks, gatherings, and online donation drives, the Foundation has dedicated the vast majority of every dollar into making an impact with our programs. As we realized the impact the Foundation has already made, it became apparent that even bigger accomplishments could be on the horizon. To that end, we along with the rest of the Board decided that a new name for the Foundation would establish long-term credibility and stability. We sought a name that would signify the Foundation’s position as a national leader on inclusion as well as recognize the Foundation’s start and the efforts of its faithful supporters. After much thought and deliberation, we are proud to introduce the organization we co-founded as the National Inclusion Project.

The National Inclusion Project is poised to continue to make an impact with thousands of children nationwide as well as raise the national consciousness about the need for and benefits of inclusion. We are excited beyond measure to see Clay’s original “project” become one that so many people have invested time, energy, and dollars in to see doors opened for children who may have never gotten the opportunity to participate in life the way their peers do. The National Inclusion Project is moving forward hand-in-hand with supporters, families, program providers, and other advocates to see the vision of full inclusion nationwide become a reality. Please join us in our push to make a difference in communities all over the country.


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Clay Aiken Decca Records!

Clay Aiken Decca Records!

Posted on August 10th, 2009 in Clay Aiken by lalate

Clay Aiken has a new label - Universal Music’s Decca Records! Clay Aiken’s Decca Records will produce a 2010 album early next year.

Aiken made the exciting announcement today on his website:

“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”.

Decca has several divisions. In recent years, Decca dominated in classical and Broadway Scores. But in recent years Decca moved into pop. Currently Universal operates Decca Label Group for US acts, London-based Decca Music Group for talents like Andrea Bocelli and Hayley Westenra, and the Decca Nashville label for Dolly Parton, Lee Ann Womack, and Patsy Cline.

Aiken joins Decca also alongside Boyz II Men, Morrissey, and Donny Osmond.

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Photo Flash: Clay Aiken Attends DRIFT at Kennedy Theater

Friday, September 25, 2009; Posted: 09:09 AM - by BWW News Desk

Clay Aiken attended a production of DRIFT last night at The Kennedy Theatre in Raleigh where Hot Summer Nights at the Kennedy's production of DRIFT is playing it's final week. DRIFT was the first production to grace the new Lauren Kennedy and Alan Campbell Theatre at Barton College and ran from September 12-20, followed by a current run at The Kennedy Theatre at the Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts in Raleigh from September 23-27 to close the season.

With music and lyrics by Jeremy Schonfeld and additional material by Craig Popisil, DRIFT is about a man's journey of gaining peace and perspective on his life, after the break up of his marriage and family. Schonfeld also musical directed for the Hot Summer Nights production. The New York Times recently raved "(Schonfeld's) score was assured and appealing piano-based rock reminiscent of Jonathan Larson and Billy Joel."

Aside from Campbell, Kennedy and Schonfeld, DRIFT includes a creative cast and crew from New York, Los Angeles and North Carolina. Sharing the stage with Campbell will be Broadway actor David Barrus (Les Miserables and Chess) as well as Sean Jenness (Jerry Springer: The Opera at Carnegie Hall, Roller Derby), Michelle Kinney, Yolanda Rabun, Gregory Dale Sanders, Andrea Schulz Twiss and Melvin Tunstall III.


Clay Aiken joins Composer Jeremy Schonfeld, Director Lauren Kennedy and some of the cast of DRIFT after the show for a photo op

Photo Credit: Hillary Russo

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