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#66: "I'm Clay Aiken, and I Approved This Message!"

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Ken has made good with his promise, as a few people have given tonight:

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Ken Arpino ‏@KenArpino 7m

BIG TY 2 those donating! As promised- getting brotherly advise by the piers in NYC #NeedTans #More2ComeWithDonations

LOL!

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I had a great time. I don't think anyone could have gone away disappointed! It was inspiring. The keynote speaker was a famous photographer and Karen asked him to take a cell phone pic! I posted it at Facebook but I don't know how to post it here. He told Karen the girls were out tonight.

He sang really well....like he actually practiced lol! I was in awe of his voice. It was bittersweet. He kept repeating "next year" like he wanted us to know he would be around at next years gala.

His hair looked different colours in the different lights. It was well done.

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Glad everyone had a great time. Glad he sang for ya'll.

Sorry LadyJ. I see you posted the videos. I actually had a life yesterday so was just checking now to see if anyone had gotten to it.

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'Tis OK!

Hubby and I went shopping yesterday, and I managed to find a new leather jacket for fall weather. I'm a happy camper. Today is a very chill day -- went for an hour walk this morning, and now doing...well, not much of anything, until we go out for pizza this evening.

Recap from the sweet geekette at the CH:

The gala tonight was very good. Some very interesting honorees' date=' and Clay, of course, looked and sounded great. Jerome was there to enforce the "no video, no audio" (Crap!) Clay sang 3 songs (all slow, [i']sigh), sprinkled in between the speakers and awards. The first was Bring Back My Love, the second was Because You Loved Me. The close of the show was a song I'd never heard. It was a good fit for the program, but no matter how hard I tried to remember the words to look it up...they're gone.

Judging by the number of tables, there were probably 400 or so attendees, and the (only) auction, the "send a kid to camp" dutch auction, raised enough to send at least 200 kids to camp. I don't know how that compares to previous years, but Clay seemed happy with it.

One thing that was quite different this year is that Clay went around to each table to chat a bit, which was definitely a good thing. I think the politicking practice is enabling him to be more comfortable with groups.

Others may have different favorites, but the most compelling speaker to me tonight was Rick Guidotti. He is/was a professional photographer who through his foundation "Positive Exposure" helps those with genetic abnormalities change how they see themselves. Through these photos, he also changes how others see them, not as victims, but people. He helps med students see that these are kids, not just a diagnosis in crisis. He's a fabulous photographer, as evidenced by his photos on his site. Love the slogan "Change how you see, see how you change".

Fans gave enough to Clay's campaign through Ken Arpino's fundraising page that another picture was posted, this time from instagram:

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Speculation is that both pictures were taken in NYC.

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So tweets with pictures from last night, mostly retweeted from the National Inclusion Project's feed:

Music2MyEars@M2Meee

Handsome Clay Aiken came by every table to say hello and thank you for supporting @includingkids #ChampionsGala pic.twitter.com/nSQ0dRxG4L

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RT @ForwardAmerican: Awe-inspiring night @includingkids Co-Founders w/ Lowe’s honorees at #ChampionsGala ic.twitter.com/thyG2nEDJz

ByEF4tVCEAA0hIs_zps62ab359e.jpg

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From GayMarie via Facebook. These are from the ice cream social fundraiser today. Love the shorts and shoes!

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She also got a #selfiewithClay!

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Gaymarie just posted a video on her Facebook page from this afternoon. The date is set for the debate!

October 6 in Pinehurst. WRAL TV will be covering it.

TimeWarner Cable has also asked for a debate, and Clay has agreed to this as well. The date is October 22. Renee has NOT agreed to this one, however. He says in the clip, though, that TimeWarner will allow him to debate an empty chair!

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Gloria Moore

4 hrs ·

Come on out to the Auman Farm! — with Robin Moore, Clay Aiken, Clay Aiken, Tom Scheve and Neva Scheve.

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The reception Friday night was fun and informative. Question and answer session with Diane, Clay and Zac, a board member. Jerry Aiken made a little speech but Aron Hall was the emcee for the evening. We had wine and horsd'oeuvres :3 kinds of spring rolls, fruit and cheese, mozzarella and basil tomato sliders.

They were filming the entire event so we had to sign releases after the photos. I limped up to Clay and Diane for the photo. Diane put her hand out as did Clay and they both said good to see you again. Jerome told me he loved my necklace and I said it was cheap. He said, "see everything beautiful does not have to be expensive. I did get a lot of compliments about it.

They did the dinner auction and 2 people were bidding it up. Clay originally said because he was fat they would have lettuce. When the bids got higher he said they might have more to eat. One person won for 28000 and Clay asked the other if they would take the same deal for another dinner. She agreed to this. Then Clay said they had one more thing. He introduced Tucker Middleton who was carrying a box. She opened it and took the infamous green plaid shirt. It was bought for 2800 or so. Not sure.

It was a lot of fun.

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Glad you had a great time Fear! It sounds like everyone had a wonderful weekend...

More pictures from cloopy, this time from the ice cream social yesterday.

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Wow, some great photos and recaps. I'm glad everyone seems to have come away from the gala this year with good feelings! I hope audio surfaces of the new song at some point. I'm really happy to hear that Clay went around to every table to greet people. Considering how many people have had the opportunity to meet him at political rallies, it is nice that he also extended that privelege to NIP supporters.

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I hear they talked about his stance on the nude pics on The View today. I don't have any more details.

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I was checking twitter for pics and I had to go away. So much negativity about his nude pic comment. Sigh!

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I agree the Gala was wonderful. This was the first year going to the Friday night activity, and I loved it. Our table was right next to Clay so in able to see DJ I had to look in Clay's direction. My friend who was not going to attend because of financial situation was gifted a Sat. ticket and loved it. Now to save enough to go next year. I am committed two weekends in Oct/Sept. so I am hoping it does not fall on either one. I loved the songs and knowing I will probably never be able to go to a private concert I was so thrilled to hear him sing. The last song made me tear up. I miss the voice so much!!

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From CV

Clay’s campaign is fast approaching the end of another quarterly reporting period and another ‘push’ for contributions is on.

Therefore if you are planning on future contributions between now and Election Day, it would be a super benefit if you could contribute now and contribute the maximum amount you are able.

A new website for contributions has been created by Team Clay for the ‘bundling project’.

Here is the website that should be used as of today for any contributions.

www.clayaiken.com/blueteam ....... Copy and paste, this link will connect you to the special contribution page.

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I thought we'd get a push for money this week. I'll find some to give.....

Bringing stuff over from CV:

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Christa Burgess

2 hours ago

Sometimes dreams do come true ME & CLAY AIKEN !

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Bruce Thompson

13 minutes ago

We were pleased to welcome Clay Aiken to our Raleigh office today.

Reading that this one is a law office.

New fundraiser at West End Wine Bar in Chapel Hill this Wednesday, 6-8 p.m.

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About tonight's event.

@clayaiken: .@JCSU_Sports Special student tix price now available for TONIGHT. Don't miss @TasiasWord and @RubenStuddard

This has been tweeted in some form or another at least six times......no wait 7! It is going out to every college.

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Tweet

@clayaiken: BIG NEWS: We've got a debate, folks! Mark your calendars for Oct. 6! http://t.co/8MwEuvC0Ps #ncpol #nc02

@NCBankers: We are excited to partner with @WRAL to host a televised debate with @RepReneeEllmers and @ClayForNC on Oct. 6: http://t.co/KdJyzkGR4L

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I think he's just a tad excited about things going on in his life lately. Just a tad.

There are more pictures from this past weekend that I need to bring over, but I don't have time today. I'll probably do that tonight when I'm watching The Voice.

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More info on the debate.

North Carolina Bankers Association shared a link.

57 minutes ago

Clay Aiken (D) on Monday, Oct. 6 at our Management Team Conference. The debate will be open to delegates attending our Conference and the media, but will not be open to the general public. The one-hour debate will air on Oct. 6 at 7:00 p.m. on WRAL-TV and 11:00 p.m. on WRAZ-TV. It will also stream on WRAL.com at 7:00 p.m. and will be available on demand through Election Day. Like, share or comment below if you are planning on attending the NCBA Management Team Conference or if you plan on watching along at home! http://bit.ly/1riBaIQ

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There's a few big name stars there -- Holly Robinson Peete (actress); Betty DeGeneres (Ellen's Mom!); Wilson Cruz ("My So-Called Life"); Greg Louganis (Olympic Diver); and Bruce Vilanch (comedy writer and gay activist). Very cool!

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