VALDOSTA -- A little cold hard cash is all that stands in the way of some rural teenagers discovering the world of jazz and life outside of the Peach State.

Chorus students from J. L. Newbern Middle School dream of performing at the Cajun Showcase of Music in New Orleans, La., April 1-3. For weeks, they have worked to raise the $16,000 necessary to fund the excursion, selling candy bars and lollipops and hosting a garage sale.

The 35 singers from J. L. Newbern Middle School's sixth-, seventh-, and eighth grades are short about $2,000. Rebecca Mullican, chorus director, said they need a little community intervention and support to help them pull everything together.

"With that financial assistance, we can finish paying for the chartered bus and help those students who were unable to completely pay their $300 towards the cost of the trip," she said.

While in New Orleans, Mullican said the students plan to enjoy a traditional cajun meal, listen to some jazz, learn a little dancing and tour the French Quarter.

To make a donation, please mail a check or money order made payable to the J. L. Newbern Middle School Chorus to 2015 East Park Avenue, Valdosta, Ga., 31602. To learn more, please call the school at (229) 333-8566.

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