“This event, for us, is about raising awareness just as much as raising funds.” With this statement, Clay Aiken expressed his feelings about the Golfing For Inclusion Event that took place on Monday, January 26, 2009.
Clay spoke with emotion to a room filled with interested participants. The audience, a mix of both golfers and fans, listened as they were thanked for being passionate and supportive of the Bubel/Aiken Foundation’s mission. They learned that the Bubel/Aiken Foundation is currently active in 17 states. The goal is to see the program working in all 50 states.
The full day activities started early with a brunch followed by an interactive golf lesson with Wayne Player. After a bit of warm-up, the golfers had the opportunity to play 18 holes on the beautiful and challenging Mirasol course.
The evening activities included a buffet dinner, an auction, a thank you from the founders and a short concert by Clay Aiken.
The auction was spirited as Clay encouraged the participants to bid just a bit more. The highlight of the auction was a dinner for 4 with Clay and his bodyguard/friend, Jerome. The high bid for the dinner was $35,000. As the auction came to an end, approximately $60,000 was raised.
Clay started the entertainment by introducing Ben Cohn, his pianist for the evening. Ben currently works as the assistant conductor and first keyboardist on Wicked in New York. He received his Bachelor of Music from Ithaca College where he studied piano and voice.
The two musicians presented a program of five popular songs, which included I Don’t Have The Heart To Hurt You. Two songs from Clay’s second album, A Thousand Different Ways were featured, along with Proud of Your Boy from the movie Aladdin. A special moment was the performance of This Is the Moment from the musical Jekyll and Hyde. Clay said, before singing, that he had not performed the song since he was in high school and hoped he would remember the lyrics.
The Golfing For Inclusion event was well-received by all that were involved. Because of the generous participation of the golfers, their guests and the dinner participants, the foundation was able to raise both needed funds and awareness of the goals and ideals of the Bubel/Aiken Foundation. Clay, again thanked the participants by saying: “During tough economic times, it is very heart warming to see people filling the seats. It shows that people have compassion and are passionate about TBAF.”
Oh yes…….for those interested, there were many “clack gatherers” in attendance so there will be many pictures and videos for fans all over the world.
Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word
video by Goldarngirl
This is the Moment
video by Scarlett