FARMINGTON — A handful of runners gathered Saturday morning at Piñon Hills Community Church to support Mesa View Middle School's choir.
The Melody Run 5K and 10K raised money for the choir's upcoming trip to New York City.
Earlene Hatch, whose child is in the choir, came up with the idea for the Melody Run. She said it's been successfully in the past.
Hatch will also be among the 16 parents chaperoning the 32 students in New York. In 2009, the choir won a sweepstakes event in Colorado Springs, Colo., earning them an invitation to sing with the National Middle School Honors Choir in New York City.
"I think it's a good opportunity for these kids," Hatch said.
Choir teacher Marletta Newman said the choir had five years to accept the invitation and this was the final year.
"When I heard Hermosa was going, I decided, well, we can go, too," Newman said.
Hermosa Middle School's choir will also travel to New York to sing with the National Middle School Honors Choir. Both Hermosa and Mesa View's choirs will perform over spring break at Carnegie Hall in Midtown Manhattan.
Newman announced the trip to her class on the first day of school, surprising students who thought they would be going to Colorado since the choir generally alternates taking trips to Colorado and Salt Lake City, Utah.
Going to New York, however, means a lot of fundraising.
"I told my dad, and he was like, 'I'm not going to pay for it,'" said Angelina Rivera, 12. "I said, 'You don't have to. I'll raise the money myself.'"
Since then, she has raised a little less than $1,000. She needs to raise $2,000 to go to New York.
Fundraisers like a spaghetti dinner, Saturday's race and chocolate sales are helping Rivera and her classmates reach their goals.
"We sold chocolate boxes and those go really fast if you have them at school," said Rachel Dollar, 13.
The spaghetti dinner was also a success. Newman said they combined the dinner with a concert, and more than 300 people attended.
"We got down to the last noodle and the last scrape of sauce," Newman said.
The choir is planning a few fundraisers each month leading up to the trip. In December, Newman said, the choir will sell enchilada dinners.
While many of the students going to New York have never been to the state, a few, such as Camryn White, 12, have been there with their families. White said she went to Carnegie Hall when her aunt sang with the National Middle School Honora Choir.
Another student, Sydney Jones, 12, visited New York during a family trip through 15 states in 15 days. This time, Jones said she is looking forward meeting new people on the trip.
"We're going to be standing by people who we don't know," Jones said. "They could be from Alaska."
Newman hopes to have her students visit Central Park, the Statue of Liberty, the 9/11 Memorial and the Empire State Building.
Choir student Kara Himes, 12, is most excited for the Broadway shows the choir students will attend, "Phantom of the Opera" and "Wicked."
"They're two of my favorite musicals," she said.
She said when Newman announced the trip she was "calm on the outside, but a volcano on the inside."