American Idol's Elliott Yamin Helps Fans Raise Over 20 Grand for Diabetes Research

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As Elliott Yamin has been busy touring, writing new music and recording, fans of Yamin have been busy raising money for a cause close to Elliott's heart, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. For example, His fans at http://www.etrainstation.org have, with his and Mom Claudette's help, raised nearly 9000 dollars of badly-needed research funds in just a few days, in conjunction with Elliott's first solo concert at the Virginia State Fair on October 8. Another closely-related organization, with many E-Train volunteers, led by Steffanie Lynch, has recently raised about 13,000 dollars over the course of several months. Altogether, well over 20,000 has so far been raised in Elliott's Honor for diabetes research. Elliott lives with Type 1 Diabetes and wears an insulin pump.

OH say can you see? This past Sunday, October 22, at Dodger Stadium, the soaring, soothing voice of Elliott Yamin was heard crooning the familiar notes of the Star Spangled Banner as he delighted supporters, eager to help raise dollars for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation's Walk for the Cure. This performance followed on the heels of Yamin's first solo concert on October 8th in Richmond, Virginia, also a fundraiser for juvenile diabetes research, a cause close to Elliott's heart.

"Elliott did not merely give music, he gave himself" said Shirley Kennedy in a National Ledger article (October 20th) about Yamin's solo concert. Elliott's fans are attempting to emulate their idol and "give themselves" in their efforts as well. A number of fan-driven fundraising activities including the E-train's Welcome Elliott party with karaoke and silent auctions were held leading up to this benefit concert. Fans active on many popular sites, such as EverythingElliott and Yaminions, participated in the E-Train JDRF Fundraiser.

Organizers report that the E-train fundraiser party alone raised nearly 6000 dollars in one evening, after expenses. They say they expect future efforts to be even more successful, given that this event, which was only a dream for several months, was hurriedly organized and became reality in only a few weeks time. "When we totalled up the proceeds at the end of the night - I was amazed" said Linda Tiller, an ETrain volunteer. "Pulling off an event this successful in such a short period of time is nothing short of a miracle."

Elliott and his mom, Claudette, assisted by donating memorabilia such as his 4th grade report card, family photos, etc. for a silent auction. And the "magical moment" of the evening, according to participants, was a surprise appearance by Elliott Yamin himself, bearing the shirt he wore in the Richmond American Idol concert as well as a signed karaoke machine to be auctioned off. The shirt alone fetched close to 700 dollars. Elliott can be seen on a videotape from the party on http://www.etrainstation.org, softly telling his mother that SHE makes HIM proud.

Altogether, his fans at E-Train raised close to 9000 dollars of badly-needed research funds in just a few days time. Another closely-related organization, with many E-train volunteers, led by Steffanie Lynch, has recently raised about 13,000 dollars over the course of several months. Altogether, well over 20,000 has so far been raised in Elliott's Honor for diabetes research. This of course, does not include the many thousands raised by Elliott's benefit concert.

It is not only JDRF that has benefitted from this outpouring of concern and caring from Elliott's fans. In a related project, Elliott's fans sent a giant care package to the young patients at St. Jude's Children's Hospital. This project was conceived after one of Elliott's fans, Amanda Jones, became ill with leukemia and was admitted to Children's. Jones learned that many children there are great fans of Yamin's, and eagerly await his appearances. Over the next month or so, Yamin's appearances include the Thanksgiving Day Parade in Philadelphia, as well as performing at the Genworth Children's Advantage Classic (a tennis tournament) on December 8 at Siegel Center in Richmond, Virginia.

Yamin told Kennedy that he has been in the recording studio and has "laid down the scratch vocals" for a new song with D.J. Lethal (Limp Bizkit's D.J.). Elliott said he wrote the song before the American Idol summer tour started. Yamin will also be collaborating with producer Derek Bramble, who has worked with entertainers Faith Hill, David Bowie and Vanessa Williams, among others. Elliott Yamin's fans plan to continue their fundraising efforts in his honor, organizers have promised. Elliott lives with Type 1 Diabetes and wears an insulin pump. There are 20.8 million children and adults in the United States, 7% of the population, who have diabetes. Nearly one-third are unaware they have the disease. For more information, visit http://www.jdrf.org.

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LINDA DEUTSCH

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