Whether He Wins a Spot on Tour Is Up to People
Just about everyone supports Scott S. Wyatt, 18, in his effort to raise the nearly $10,000 he needs to take part in a yearlong international good-will singing tour with the group Up With People.
“Most everyone likes the idea of the tour and what the singing group stands for,” said the San Clemente High School senior. “Most of them are helping me as best they can.”
But despite the backing, Scott has found fund-raising difficult.
He has only raised $2,500 since December, some of it from his own savings from a summer waiter’s job and a stint as a busboy.
His first payment of $6,000 to the nonprofit singing organization is due May 31.
“I’ve never tried raising money before and it’s hard,” said Scott, a former Madrigal Choir singer at the high school level and a singer in elementary and junior high school choirs.
Although he has been helped by various organizations and individuals, “I’m not good at fund-raising,” he admits. “I don’t like to ask people for money.”
He has written letters to 50 organizations asking for money. He gives talks explaining why he needs the support. He is also selling shares in the “future of Scott S. Wyatt” with the disclaimer that the shares are not a real prospectus. He hands out certificates that authenticate the share purchase.
He is also planning a singing fund-raiser at a pizza parlor and another in a rest home.
A fund has been set up at the San Clemente branch of the Bank of America for anyone who wants to help.
“This is a good opportunity for me personally and for the community in general,” said Scott. “When I come back, I can talk to other kids and tell them about my trip to another part of the world and explain what I have learned.”
He is one of 600 singers selected for the international tour, which will have five groups of 120 members each. There were 10,000 applicants.
After each concert, he noted, the singers mix with the audience to soak up the culture of the country. Nearly half the singers are Americans; the rest are from 15 other countries.
“The singing group is out to help different communities around the world, since most of the performances raise money for worthy causes,” said Scott, who plans to become an aviator.
Scott attended a recent Up With People concert in Irvine “and that excited me and got me interested in the program.”
His parents, Judy and Bob Beaulieuof San Clemente, are backing his effort and said they will provide the final third of the cost if he raises the other two-thirds.
“We think it’s a wonderful chance for him before he goes to college,” said his mother. “I wish we could afford to pay for the whole trip.”
Scott said that if he is unsuccessful in his fund-raising venture, he will return the money he has collected.
“I’m keeping an account of everything just in case,” he said.
It’s called a state-certified tear gas training program, but it’s really a class on the use of Mace, says David E. Wiggs, who will teach the course Saturday at Golden West College in Huntington Beach.
“Everyone knows about tear gas, so we thought we could get more attention with this tear gas name,” said Wiggs, retired Westminster police captain who has been teaching the class for five years.
“Learning how to use Mace is the alternative to learning self-defense,” he said, noting that 75% of his students are women. Those passing the course will be issued a lifetime permit to buy and carry Mace.
“We call Mace a non-lethal form of defense,” he said.