Clay Aiken – Raising Money For A Worthy Cause

I wish I were going to be in New York City for Easter.  If I were there, I would spend two more days in the city so that I could attend the 25th EASTER BONNET COMPETITION for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids.

The two-day event will be held April 25 at 4:30 pm and April 26 at 2 pm.  It will be presented at the Minskoff Theatre which is currently is the home of Disney’s The Lion King.

I would love to see the different Broadway, Off-Broadway and touring productions as they perform their special skits, songs and dances.  The highlight of the show is the presentation of their unique Easter bonnet that is created specially for the event.

Last year, the EASTER BONNET COMPETITION raised $3,265,700.  Each company has six weeks to put on an extensive fundraising drive.  Some of the shows offer pictures with stars, a walk-on role, or drinks with the cast.  Others rely on the generosity of their audiences and just ask for donations. Since 1987, the 24 editions of this highly anticipated annual event have brought in more than $42 million.

Last February, I had the opportunity to visit the office of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids.  I had already been a supporter of the organization, but after learning more about their work and meeting so many caring individuals, I am now a huge fan of the charity.  Everyone at the office, from Tom Viola, the Executive Director, to Skip Lawing who I spoke to on the phone, treated me as a special guest and stopped to chat.  A special thanks to Dan Perry who was my guide for the day. To the left is the ad that CANN put in the Playbill program for Broadway Backwards. Remember, you can click on the picture to see it better.

According to their website:

Broadway Cares / Equity Fights AIDS is one of the nation’s leading industry-based, nonprofit AIDS fundraising and grant-making organizations. By drawing upon the talents, resources and generosity of the American theatre community, since 1988 BC/EFA has raised over $195 million for essential services for people with AIDS and other critical illnesses across the United States.

BC/EFA is the major supporter of seven programs at The Actors Fund, including The HIV/AIDS Initiative, The Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative, The Al Hirschfeld Free Health Clinic, The Actors Fund Work Program, The Dancers’ Resource, The Stage Managers’ Project and three supportive housing residences.

BC/EFA also awards annual grants to more than 400 AIDS and family service organizations nationwide.

I remember learning about BC/EFA in 2008.  Clay Aiken was in the middle of his run in Spamalot and worked hard to earn money for the event.  I remember seeing the line-up of fans that donated money to have their pictures taken with Clay and the other cast members.  Clay let his fans know he wanted Spamalot to win, but ..2nd place seems to be Clay’s spot! The competition raised a record 3.7 million dollars that year.

I found the following video of the 2008 EASTER BONNET COMPETITION on YouTube.  In all the fun and excitement, the vocals really do stand out!!

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Comments

  1. Loved watching that video again. Hannah's and Clay's voices blended so beautifully on "The Prayer". I would have loved to have a studio recording of that…and in English. It is my favourite vocals of that song. Loved your Ad from the Broadway Backwards. Very nice.

  2. BC/EFA is yet another organization that was brought to my attention through Clay Aiken. I remember sitting at home and waiting for reports of the Easter Bonnet Competition. Although I couldn't be there, and could not take part in the fund raising festivities, I did donate online and I did purchase the DVD.

    and if anyone from BC/EFA is reading here, I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to have a DVD of Broadway Backwards!!! Just sayin' …….

    Thanks for all you do (that's a general thanks to all involved)

    • Sue…..there is a DVD of the performance. I have a copy that they sent me. I need to contact them and find out how others can get it. I have looked and looked and don't see it.

      • I sent them an email earlier this month (or so) and they told me that they would not be releasing a DVD for Broadway Backwards 🙁 I want one – I want to see most of the performances that night AND support BC/EFA – it's a win win

  3. Thanks to Clay Aiken I was introduced to BC/EFA and all that is does each and every year. I hope more people will support this worthy cause.

  4. Loved seeing that performance again. Yes, the vocals do stand out.
    Loved Clay Aiken and Hannah together. Proud of them both for supporting this worthy cause.

  5. Love that performance with Hannah. Their voices where made to duet together. Clay brought my attention to the BC/EFA organizations.

  6. WOW…..I hope it isn't too late to get a ticket. I am right in NY and I will be there!! Thanks for letting us know!!

    The performance of the Prayer by Clay and Hannah is awesome. How could they keep it straight with the nun skating in and out of their performance.

    I would love a DVD of Broadway Backwards too. I hope you will let us know if we can get a copy.

    Thank you for all the info!!

  7. Kudos to BC/EFA for their fund rasing efforts over the years and kudos to Clay for lending a hand as well. I also had the opportunity the year to interact with several staff members from BC/EFA and they were as nice as can be.

  8. Thank you for the info on BC/EFA. I wish I lived close enough see the Easter Bonnet Celebration. I love the ad you did in the program. What a nice way to support Clay and BC/EFA.

    I would love to see Hannah and Clay work together again!!

    I always enjoy this site.

  9. Thanks so much for the information on BC/EFA. They help so many people through out the year and it is such a worthy organization. I loved watching Clay and Hannah sing together again. I know Clay has helped them raise money through participating in many of their fund raising events. I am glad that Clay spends time raising money for so many wonderful organizations.

  10. What a wonderful video and a wonderful cause! I'm always so proud Clay uses his time and talent to help others. 🙂

  11. Love that video of The Prayer.
    Thanks for all the info on BC/EFA. So worthy of support from everyone.

  12. Thanks so much for that video of The Prayer. I love how they both sing so nice together. I don't know how they can keep on singing with all the shenanigans going on around them. Lol! Also enjoyed all the information on BC/EFA. I remember when Clay did the fund raising for them.

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