PLANT CITY - Focus 4 Beauty Career Center offered a day of salon services June 22, as part of a fundraiser for local teen pop singing group Next Radical Generation raise the funds to participate in the musical "Feather" at the New York Music Theater Festival on Broadway.
The group left for New York June 30 and will return July 19. Besides performing in "Feather," they will also make appearances at Central Park and atop the Empire State Building where they will perform songs from its record. Paul Granville, director of admissions at Focus 4 Beauty, explained that the fundraiser helps to promote the career center's vision for the community.
"We kind of see ourselves as a place where people can realize their dreams, career wise," he said.
In addition to salon services, the event included photo booths, a bake sale and raffle, as well as donations and booths from local businesses such as the State Farm Agency.
"It's local businesses trying to help local kids," Granville explained, adding that 25 students from the career center volunteered for the fundraiser.
Granville, a master barber who together owns the career center with his wife, Nanette, seeks to emphasize the importance of community involvement to students who could one day become salon owners themselves.
"We pride ourselves on being a big city school in a small town location," he said.
The musical "Feather" is a play that incorporates multimedia with an underlying message that addresses issues such as child poverty and hunger. Yvonne Fry, NRG producer, explained that preparing for the play has helped the group to grow musically.
"Music can be a tool to help in the greater good," she said.
The musical will be a new challenge for the group, who are all between the ages of 13 and 14.
"They don't understand yet what they're about to be a part of," Fry said, but added that they have spent much time in practice and are looking forward to the performance. "It is such an amazing experience to go immerse ourselves in the theater business."
Fry explained that the musical has partnered with charity group Save the Children, and added that the charity component helps to further NRG's overall goal for it's members, which is to build strong character skills while developing their talent.
"They don't just live on a stage, but rather they live in the real world," Fry said.