2009 Champions of Change Gala - Raleigh

On Oct. 17, 2009, The National Inclusion Project held its annual Gala in Raleigh, NC. Clay participated in the auction and he sang Grace of God, As Long As We're Here, My Eyes Adored You, and Moon River.

Oct. 17/09 N.I.P. Gala
The National Inclusion Project held its first gala under the new name in Raleigh. Linda Loveland acted at MC again. Awards were given to some fine people who demonstrate inclusion in their daily lives. Diane Bubel gave an inspirational address. Clay spoke to the assembled guests and performed four songs.

The Live Auction is always a fun part of the Gala, with Clay playing "Auctioneer's Assistant'. The gray jacket from the 2004 Independent Tour drew a large donation as did the 'Day with Clay'. Imagine having a tour of Raleigh with Clay as your guide!!! The 'one and only' copy of 'Back For More', a fan favorite from the Jukebox Tour, is a treasure for its new owner. many wonderful items were donated for the Silent Auction as well. He sure has some talented fans!

 The Champions Gala honored several people for their contributions to the inclusion movement.

Cheerleaders Sarah Cronk & Sarah Herr created a non-profit organization called "The Sparkle Effect" which encourages high school students to include children with disabilities on cheerleading squads.

At the suggestion of Louisville marching band director Dr. Greg Byrne, Patrick Henry Hughes plays in a marching band from his wheelchair pushed by his father, Patrick John Hughes.

Mitsubishi Electric has invested more than $9 million in various programs to help young people with disabilities, their families and communities.

The creator of the video used at the 2009 Gala in October posted a blog comment about their production. (The Beery Blog.)