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.
The following video shows Clay at the branch of the bank. It shows the two young ladies who sang for him and also a bit of Clay singing This Is The Night.
From the moment Clay first stepped on the stage it was meant for
him to be a brilliant “Star”! He kept his word with The BUBEL/AIKEN Foundation. There were a lot of Big Names that believed in him from the very beginning and he’s never let anybody
down. It is such an honor to be a fan of a man with such dignity
and grace. I’m sure WACHOVIA was proud to have him on board.
Soon there will be no more Wachovia, just Wells Fargo. That was a great day for the fans who attended. Mayor Bloomberg is still the mayor of NYC and appeared on CNN officiating at his aides same sex marriage over the weekend. Another wonderful occasion.
I asked Clay about running for office at a M&G but he doesn't think he could win in NC and said he would have a hard time asking donors for campaign contributions.
I was going to ask that next Monday….could he get contributions?
He'd run as a Democrat, surely.
I have never seen this particular video before. Look at those feet and he was adorable as always.
I remember seeing this video years ago.. It sure was nice to go back and watch it all over again. So long ago. 8 years…. and Clay's vision of inclusion has never waivered. He is such a good man, and a man of his word. Thanks CANN for posting this again…it was fun to watch it.
Thanks so much!! I had never seen that video. Gosh, he looked so young. But, he is still the same Clay-he has stayed true to his beliefs. Wonder if he could have ever dreamed back then of how much good he'd do and how many lives he'd affect.
Thanks musicfan123… I've never seen this before.
It was good to see that video again. Clay is such a great and good man. That was nice of them to put $10,000 in that account for the Bubel Aiken Foundation. Clay is so true to his word…only now it is the National Inclusion Project. He is certainly still making a difference.