When the general public thinks about Clay Aiken, they usually think……American Idol runner-up, recording artist, Broadway star, TV star, father and gay man. But one of the most important parts of Clay’s life is missing from that list………founder and member of the Board of Directors of a successful Foundation.
The Bubel/Aiken Foundation started as a school project, but became a reality on July 28, 2003 when the official announcement of the creation of the foundation was made by Clay Aiken.
From its humble beginnings, the Bubel/Aiken Foundation has grown into the leading organization that promotes the inclusion of all children in all areas. And, the Foundation is also a leader in investing in the education community by providing services and financial assistance, and creating awareness of the needs of all children.
According to the official records, the Foundation has invested over one million dollars to expand Let’s ALL Play across the country.
“The goal of Let’s ALL Play is to assist child and youth organizations in moving toward full inclusion. In 2004, the inclusive recreational experience for children with and without disabilities was instituted by the Foundation.”
The Foundation is supporting 32 recreational programs in 2009. The support comes in the form of a program model and Foundation training in addition to grant funding. Because of the Foundation’s support, children in 20 different states across the country will participate in inclusive programs for the first time.
On March 6, 2009, the Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation (MEAF) announced $360,000 in new and continuing grants, raising the total investment in the Foundation’s five-year Inclusion Initiative to $3.2 million. This inclusion project is a joint venture between The Bubel/Aiken Foundation and the National Center for Summer Learning at Johns Hopkins University.
Because the Bubel/Aiken Foundation was started by a celebrity, there has been much scrutiny of the financial records of the Foundation. Each time there has been a question, the Foundation and the State of North Carolina has proven that all is well with the charity.
According to the official records filed by the Foundation to both the state and federal governments, the Foundation is doing very well. It is rated well for its use of funds and keeps the expenses to a minimum
The following are the numbers for 2007.
Program Expenses 81.9%
Administrative Expenses 15.6%
Fundraising Expenses 2.3%
Clay Aiken announced last year that the Foundation was going to change their name to something that would reflect more on the purpose of the foundation. We look forward to hearing more about that change.
It is wonderful to see Clay Aiken use his celebrity in such a positive way. There is no way of knowing how many young people have been positively influenced by the opportunities given by The Bubel/Aiken Foundation.