A Spanish Fork dance group has been asked to the "ball" but can't make it without the help of some fairy godmothers.
Cloggers USA has been invited to send 75 of its 300 dancers, ranging in age from 8 to 22, to perform in the Jan. 20 inaugural parade for President-elect George Bush and at a party that evening.But dancers in the group only have a few weeks to raise the money for the trip, so are asking the community for help.
"It's a real honor to be chosen, but it could not have come at a worse time," said Mary Jex, group director.
"The kids always raise the money for their own trips, but usually they have six or nine months to do it. A few of them are selling mistletoe door to door, but we think air fare and rooms for the group will cost about $53,000, and they're not going to sell that much mistletoe in three weeks."
Previous fund-raisers have included door-to-door sales of pizza, candy and pictures.
"The kids' parents are making all the sacrifices they can, but with this coming up suddenly, during the holidays, no one has a spare $700 to give to their kid," she said.
Jex hopes groups or individuals will make donations or will hire the group to dance.
"We are very willing to work for the money. That's one of the main lessons we try to teach the kids - they must work for what they get. They also appreciate the trips more if they have paid for them.
"We don't just want to teach these kids to dance, we want to develop them into caring, giving, productive adults. We want to make great adults, not just cute little super stars."
Cloggers USA is the second group from Utah to accept an invitation to participate in the inaugural parade. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir has also announced its acceptance of an invitation to participate.
The choir will be the only choral group in the parade, and Cloggers USA will be one of only two dancing groups, inaugural planners said. Ninety-five groups will participate in the parade.
Utah is one of 14 states and the District of Columbia to have more than one group in the parade. Each state has at least one representative.
The inaugural committee said it had received more than 300 applications from groups wanting to participate. Participants are selected on the basis of past honors, current repertoires, size and appearance. Jex said the inaugural committee called and asked the group to apply.
The 6-year-old dance group has performed in the United States, Europe, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Mexico. Cloggers USA participated last year in Washington in festivities honoring the Bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution. It has performed for heads of state and LDS Church President Ezra Taft Benson.
For more information on Cloggers USA, call 798-3200 or 225-4250.