Clay Aiken – Mayor of New York??

In July of 2003, Wachovia Bank, N.A., was one of America’s leading customer service banks and the largest retail bank on the East Coast.  They opened two Manhattan retail financial centers on July 28th in Rockefeller Plaza and at Madison Avenue & 45th. The event included an official welcome from New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and American Idol celebrity Clay Aiken who, as a native of North Carolina, was invited to assist in the formal ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Wachovia’s Manhattan financial center grand-opening festivities were made more exciting by a surprise announcement from Clay Aiken.  He announced that he would like to open the first official account in the name of his new Bubel/Aiken Foundation which he had just started.  Clay stated that he was a long-time Wachovia customer and was pleased that now he would be able to find an ATM to use when he visited New York.  Jim Fitzgerald, the regional president of Wachovia, announced that Wachovia was donating $10,000 to the Bubel/Aiken Foundation.

Mayor Bloomberg and Clay joined with the executives of Wachovia in a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Rockefeller Plaza.  The Mayor teased Clay by showing a fan sign that said “Clay Aiken for Mayor” and said that he would support Clay at the end of his tour as mayor.  There was a larger than expected crowd at the ceremony as many of Clay’s fans attended in hopes of seeing him.

Clay also attended the branch opening at 45th and Madison.  Some workers at the bank sang “Amazing Grace” to Clay and according to those in attendance, it was beautiful and moving. The singers asked Clay to sing so he sang a verse or two of “This Is The Night.”  It was an exciting time for the employees who were opening a new facility and hosting a new musical star.

Clay was in the middle of the American Idol tour when he made this visit to New York.  The night before, he had been performing in Philadelphia and after the ceremonies in New York, Clay had to hurry to Washington DC for a concert that same night.

Wachovia Bank provided a video of the ribbon cutting ceremony in Rockefeller Plaza and you can see it below.  The filming is very professional; however, the quality of the copy is not always clear.  But, it is Clay and it is wonderful to see and hear him at this event.


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12 thoughts on “Clay Aiken – Mayor of New York??

  1. What a proud moment for Clay Aiken, I wonder if he even realized how important this would be for people, like us,or anyone, to learn about inclusion of all people, not just people with disabilities. I know I’m proud to have learned, and proud to be a fan of Clay Aiken

  2. Thanks Musicfan! Clay and the Bubel/Aiken Foundation certainly have grown since that exciting event. I am so proud to “know” him!

  3. and six years later, The Bubel/Aiken Foundation continues to grow and to provide opportunities for children with disabilities and without disabilities to interact and to learn from one another.

    Thanks for the video and the article. Clay Aiken should be very proud of all that he has accomplished – both in the entertainment field and for the children of the world.

  4. I had never seen this video before. Very interesting. I do remember seeing it in a magazine. I am so proud to be a fan of such a wonderful man. Now, 6 years later the Bubel-Aiken Foundation is still around doing their wonderful work for the children..and Clay is still here as the great entertainer he is. Thank you for this informative video.

  5. I’ve never seen this video before either. I must have been on a very uninformed message board at the time. Clay Aiken and the Bubel/Aiken foundation are still going strong, and at that moment was a stepping stone into what the foundation has become today. What a proud moment for Clay and for the Bubel/Aiken Foundation.

  6. I didn’t realize that the Bubel/Aiken foundation was the first account at that location…..Wow…

    I’ve never seen that clip before. I’ve seen pictures, but not the video…I did see a video of Clay singing inside the bank though….

    Thanks Musicfan for bringing that over…It’s been so much fun seeing all these clips from the past years…Clay has done so much!!!!!!


  7. I never knew anything about this event. This article is informative and I enjoyed the video. The BAF has grown a lot since then.

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