Last night, New York hosted the 10th Annual Lighting of the UNICEF Snowflake. Held in front of the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church at the intersection of 55th Street and 5th Avenue, the event started at 6:30PM.
The giant Snowflake hangs above the intersection of 57th and 5th Avenue and illuminates the area as a reminder of UNICEF’s commitment to reach a day when zero children die from the preventable causes.
According to UNICEF:
The UNICEF Snowflake is a dazzling, illuminated crystal ornament that graces the intersection of Fifth Avenue and 57th Street in New York City and Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills each holiday season as a beacon of hope, peace and compassion for vulnerable children around the world.
This magnificent creation was designed, engineered and entirely handcrafted by Ingo Maurer and his team in Germany, using 16,000 Baccarat crystal prisms. The three-dimensional structure consists of 12 double-sided branded and is 23 feet in diameter, over 28 feet in height, and more than 3,300 pounds. The largest outdoor crystal chandelier of its kind, it was dedicated to UNICEF by the Stonbely Family Foundation in 2002.
More than a symbol, the UNICEF Snowflake is the centerpiece of an ambitious campaign to raise millions of dollars in support of health, immunization, nutrition, clean water and sanitation, education and protection for children in developing nations.
As always, the ceremony featured some outstanding celebrities that made the event an exciting and festive time. The stars of Broadway’s JERSEY BOYS performed at the event. They sang selections from their newly released holiday album, “Seasons Greetings: A Jersey Boys Christmas.” Members of Broadway Kids Care joined the four singers. This organization brings together children from current and past Broadway shows. The kids sang festive holiday songs. The actress, Angie Harmon was there to “flip the switch” on the beautiful UNICEF snowflake.
On November 18, 2006, UNICEF Ambassador, Clay Aiken helped light the UNICEF Snowflake in New York. Clay was joined by basketball great, Darryl Dawkins. Together, they lit up the snowflake. On that night, The Brooklyn Youth Chorus entertained the crowd as they sang a few holiday songs.
Clay seemed excited to be a part of the ceremony. He was having some mike problems and joked that UNICEF could feed the world, but had trouble with the mikes. It got lots of laughs.
The highlight for many of the crowd was Clays impassioned speech about his experiences with UNICEF. He also talked about the goals that UNICEF has for the future. Although there was a teleprompter there, it seemed that Clay had his speech memorized. The crowd was supportive and seemed to enjoy the event.
The videos below show Clay’s speech from that evening. He was articulate and seemed so at ease.
Thanks for the wonderful videos from that beautiful night. Clay was fantastic. (and on a shallow note, my goodness, did he look hot!!) 🙂
I loved watching those videos again. Clay is really so comfortable speaking to people. Especially about programmes that he is so passionate about. This is certainly a nice time to be in NYC, just before their Thanksgiving. Thanks for the information regarding the Unicef Lighting Ceremonies…
I loved seeing those videos again!! Clay Aiken is so quick on his feet, and just a joy to listen to (and look at, he was quite gorgeous that night).
Clay always has class in everything he does ! He has the ability
to just make you love him and laugh with him. Really loved the
videos, still! after all of this time!
Thanks Musicfan for posting this. I've never seen it before. Clay sure has an easy way about him. He is able to speak intelligently and entertainingly even when there are glitches in the electronics!
Those UNICEF videos are delightful and they surely lightened my mood. Clay was so funny and quick on his feet when those mikes went awry. At the same time he was knowledgeable about Unicef and gave a lot of useful information about it's work around the world. I was also impressed that Clay remembered the full names of the three girls. Bet they loved it.
That UNICEF snowflake lighting ceremony was a very happy celebratory occasion. Thanks!
Loved the UNICEF tree lighting with Clay. He was gorgeous and so well spoken. Thanks for the reminder. 😉