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February 02, 2010

Clay Aiken's National Inclusion Project Golf Tournament

I'll tell ya this - I never, ever thought I'd be writing about Clay Aiken here on my golf blog.

But yesterday, at Mirasol Golf Club (which is about 3 miles from my house) was the third annual golf event to benefit the National Inclusion Project.

Golf pro Wayne Player (whose son played on my sons flag football team this year, and I'll brag for a second - they went undefeated) has been helping Clay Aiken with his golf game for 3 years and at the pre-tourney clinics... as Aiken mentioned - he has no game.

Here it is in his own words, “I still don’t know anything... We do the clinic and I still don’t know what (Player) is talking about. I just stand there and make a few jokes.”

So why am I writing about Aiken here?

Because I really believe in his cause. It's called The National Inclusion Project and he has created a curriculum that can be used by already-existing camps to make their facilities accessible and fun for would-be campers with disabilities.

In short, the Project puts it like this: What would you do if it were your child who couldn't participate?

Frankly, I don't know what I would do. But I do know this: Although I've never been much of a fan of Clay Aiken, I now respect him as a person and admire the work he's doing for children.

For the 3rd year, N.I.P. has donated $15,000 to a Florida camp – this year the money went to the Florida Lion’s Camp in Lake Wales.

It's nice to see a celebrity put his name and valuable time to good use. Nice work Clay Aiken.


copingincalifornia said...

Thank you for your blog. I've always said if people take a moment to get past what they think they know about Clay Aiken and listen to his heart (which is his National Inclusion Project)they will be a fan.

Carolina Clay said...

You summed up Clay Aiken, the mission, and work of the National Inclusion Project perfectly.

Thank you from a Clay Aiken fan. Way to go!


IamMesmerized said...

Thank you for this nice blog. It is so nice to see that people like yourself realize how much effort Clay puts into his foundation. Way back when, he said he wanted to make a difference and he has for thousands of special needs children.

Thank you again.

CCOL4HIM said...

Thank you for your post. It is a great mention for Clay and the National Inclusion Project!

John Paulus said...

Nice to see Clay raising money for the family business. Maybe his uncle can get a raise from his $50K base salary.

Aspiegirl44 said...

Thanks for sharing a great blog. I have a form of autism - and I have experienced exclusion most my life. It was fans of Clay that included me (although the community I live in has yet develop inclusion for adults) and I never had that before and I know now what it is to be accepted by others and that has change my life. If Clay would not have talked of incusion - I would not have ever had the chance to experience it.



Anonymous said...

Thanks for the blog, it is nice to see that Clay Aiken is making a difference in the world not just with the kids with disabilities through The National Inclusion project, but also with kids all over as an ambassador of UNICEF.
That is how a celebrity should use his fame.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this. I am a Clay fan and it's good to see the perspective from someone who's not really a Clay fan. If anyone takes a little time to look at what Clay has done for children all over the world, then they will see what kind of a man he is. He is a good man who really wants to help children.

Anonymous said...

Hi, just wanted to thank you for your blog. Clay Aiken, and the National Inclusion Project are a foundation to be proud of.

clayitagain said...

Larry...nice write up. Looks like you got to see the true Clay Aiken and what a caring and compassionate man he is. Thank you for your blog and telling it as it is.

Diana said...

Thank you for putting in a good word for Clay Aiken. It's nice to know he's combining his education and celebrity to make a difference in these children's lives.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your blog! I'm glad that somebody who is not a fan of Clay can see the good things he is doing for children.

Anonymous said...

For the parents of a whole and healthy child it is nearly impossible to understand the importance of inclusion for a child with a disability. For the family and child, an inclusion camp experience may be the first time in their lives that the child can just be a “regular” kid. That experience can be life-changing. Thank you, National Inclusion Project, for the wonderful work you do.

Anonymous said...

Larry, thanks for a great blog.

It's so refreshing for an honest person to admit they like and respect Clay Aiken for the man he is, whether a fan of his music or not.

Hey, why not listen to his new CD, you may just like it!

Nicke said...

Not only do the disabled children benefit from being included, but the non-disabled children learn their disabled friends can and should be included in activities. The education through these camps goes both ways. Charity Navigator, an independent organization that evaluates charities, gave NIP their top rating (4 star). Fiscal responsibility is one of the important factors in receiving a top rating.

Dianna said...

What a nice blog. I am the mother of a child who has been helped because of the National Inclusion Project. Not only is the program wonderful, the entire staff is prepared and excited about what they do. I was amazed that Clay actually visited the camp one day to check it out and actually spent a lot of time playing with the kids.

He is a good man.

Anonymous said...

I am not saying Clay Aiken is perfect, but he is in my opinion a FINE HUMAN BEING!!! I support causes like the National Inclusion Project, UNICEF etc. Our children need BIG VOICES to be heard! Congratulations to the National Inclusion Project. More power to all of you!

katy said...

I appreciate your recognition of NIP and Clay, Diane, Kristy, Aron, Jerry and others so instrumental in making the Project so successful. It is certainly a passion of Clay Aiken and the others, too.

Anonymous said...

Clays foundation is his heart and soul! Thank you for your wonderful blog.

omc1313 said...

Thank you so much for the good words you said about Clay and the National Inclusion Project. It was a wonderful evening for all. Some celebrities use their fame for the very best of reasons and as we can all see Clay is using his to help children around the world.

Anonymous said...

My child has dyslexia. I wish there had been a Clay Aiken in her life when she was being excluded by those in her 'normal' world.

This is such a positive blog. Thanks. And 99% of the comments are positive and uplifting. Unfortunately there is always that 1 bad egg that tries to diminish the good of others. Guess that 1 needs some uplifting, too.

Anonymous said...

Clay fans know who the bad egg is... still can't get past his obsession. A good for nothing. Now on to, thank you for your blog. Clay has always walked the walk in terms of his passion for helping children with disabilities. He has more than earned my respect and my love.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful blog Larry. In case no one has answered your NJU question;
NJU means Not Just Us (Clay fans).

I suggest the song Lover All Alone from his album "On My Way Here". Clay wrote the lyrics and David Foster wrote the melody.
Any other song on that album or any of his other albums are great.
Try the album "Playlist: The Very Best of Clay Aiken "

He has a new album due out this summer.

Anonymous said...

Margaret5828 wrote:
NJU means Not Just Us meaning others get what Clay Aiken is all about. Not just his beautiful voice but also he is a beautful person inside and out.
Thank you for writing such a positive blog.

barb 55 said...

Great blog! Thanks for posting it.

Clay is dedicated to helping children with special needs through the NIP. He wanted to make a difference and has through his organization and really puts his heart into it.

You can tell he loves children and wants to do what he can to help them.

Thanks again for your positive statements.

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