Founding BAF

Wachovia Opening and Announcement

BAF Press Conference


Wachovia Press Release

Long before he became a musical superstar, Clay Aiken's dream was to help people living with developmental disabilities. Through his volunteer work with Autism Services, he met Mike Bubel, and was inspired by how his family treated him like he was a normal child.

While helping Mike, Clay also studied special education at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte. In order to graduate, he had to complete an assignment to create an organization that would help children with disabilities.

After Clay graduated from university, he turned his school project into reality.

7/28/2003 - Clay Aiken joined New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Wachovia executives for a press conference and ribbon-cutting ceremony in Rockefeller Plaza. Aiken announced he would like to open the first official account in the name of his new Bubel-Aiken Foundation, which he said he was starting to benefit mentally challenged children.

"Diane Bubel is a close friend of mine from home and she changed my life because she's the one who encouraged me to audition for American Idol. That's why I'm starting this foundation in her name. Hopefully we can make some positive changes in the lives of children with mental disabilities."

On August 06, 2003, when the American Idol Tour rolled through Raleigh, Charles Meeker, the Mayor          Raleigh, held a press conference. Clay and his partner, Diane Bubel,
announced the official start of the Bubel Aiken Foundation.

At this conference, a check was presented for $42,200.00 to the Bubel Aiken Foundation from the LWLHD organization. This organization was made up of eight ladies who had decided to try to raise money for Clay’s charities. At the time Clay had not started BAF, but he had been talking about the possibility. The group called themselves the Look What Love Has Done organization, after one of Clay’s demo songs. Their goal was to raise $5,000 over the internet for a donation. They held an auction on e-bay that included 12 Clay-signed Rolling Stone magazines. The donations didn't stop at $5,000. Clay’s generous fans kept on giving and giving.