The Final Stretch for Voices of Unity Choir

By Valerie Caviglia
By Megan Trent

July 11, 2010 Updated Jul 18, 2010 at 10:02 AM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - With the Voices of Unity Youth Choir only one week away from their trip to China, the group is still a few donations short of reaching their fundraising goals. The choir needs $70,000 more to reach its goal of $470,000 and the trip of a lifetime to participate in the 6th World Choir Games in Shaoxing, China.

All money raised will help send 80 singers, musicians, and chaperons to compete in what many call the Olympic Games of choir competitions.

"If we bring back home the gold medal, it's a chance to put Fort Wayne on the map and bring our community together to say, 'We supported these young people and look what they've done,'" said Stacia Lewis, a singer in the choir.

In the final stretch of fundraising campaign efforts, the choir has been able to take a few last opportunities to raise donations.

Saturday evening the Voices of Unity Choir took part in a musical tribute concert at True Love Baptist Church in Fort Wayne. The event celebrated the Voices of Unity Youth Choir and Marshall White, the group's Choir Director.

On Sunday the Dreams of Gold Finale Celebration took place at Glenbrook Mall. It was one of the final opportunities to seek last minute donations, thank supporters, and celebrate the choir's success.

Choir Director Marshall White said, "This gives Fort Wayne a chance to celebrate that the kids are going, and then say, 'Okay, we're still a part of that, and we can still help out.' I love Fort Wayne, and I believe Fort Wayne is a great city."

The more than 100 supporters in attendence were also treated to a performance by the Fort Wayne Chlidren's Choir. INC's own Jane Hersha emceed the event. Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry was also there and even donated some of his own money to the choir.

"I'm speaking to all the citizens of Fort Wayne now," the Mayor said. "Please, even just a few dollars would help. If you can't give $1,000 or $100, a few dollars. All of it collectively would send these kids on their way."

The Voices of Unity were also invited to perform at this year's Trinity Music Festival at Parkview Field on July 17. This will be the choir's final send-off before leaving for the World Choir Games in China on July 18th.

For more details on how to donate or how to involve a business, restaurant, church or organization, contact Clif Wallace at 260-602-1085 or log on to www.dreamsofgold.org. Easier yet, just click on NewsLinks on our website.

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