Clay Aiken launched his official fan club on Monday, offering a letter, access to his blog, and an 8×10 photo for just $29.95 a year.
At the same time, the charity Clay co-founded has come under scrutiny. The Bubel/Aiken Foundation exists “to provide services and financial assistance to facilitate fully the integration of children with disabilities into the life environment of those without.”
Some “critics [have] mounted an Internet campaign questioning how the foundation spends its money. They complain that, while expenses totaled more than $1 million in 2004, less than one-third was distributed in grants,” WRAL reports.
Clay Aiken “was too busy to comment,” but his co-founder Diane Bubel said, “We’re volunteering and doing something good, and all we hear is complaining. … We have nothing to hide. I’m proud of what we’ve done.” According to WRAL, “She says the raw numbers can be misleading because they do not detail the costs of organizing, training, and travel for the camp in Raleigh and in Missouri.”
WRAL, a North Carolina CBS affiliate, says they “asked an independent accountant to break down the numbers, who pointed out that program services totaled $920,000 — around 85 cents on every dollar donated — which is considered a solid percentage compared to other charities.”