Fort Lauderdale Church Youth Group Setting Off for Inauguration in D.C.

"We're going there to see history in the making," Vashati Lindsay said

The youth group at Mount Olive Baptist Church in Fort Lauderdale has a severe case of inauguration fever.

"It kind of feels like I'll be part of history because I'll be there, witnessing it, and be able to tell people yeah, I was there," said youth group member Paige Coddington.

The Fort Lauderdale church is sending a busload of teenagers and chaperones to Washington for Monday's inauguration of President Barack Obama.

"We're going there to see history in the making," said Vashati Lindsay, another member of the youth group.

"My heart is overflowing with joy to be able to give these young people this experience. I think it'll be the experience of a lifetime," said the Rev. James Melton, the church's youth pastor.

The kids sold T-shirts, bracelets, and even gourmet popsicles to raise money for the trip. They're also taking eight teens from a church in Belle Glade with them, a group of kids that would not have been able to afford the journey to the capital by themselves.

"The fundraising was important because we want young people to invest in their own futures," Melton said. "I think there will be moments in the ceremony when they'll be overwhelmed and it'll be the kind of thing that burns in their memory forever."

Melton says there's also special resonance in a group of African-American kids seeing the inauguration of a black president.

"I think it gives them more concrete hope that they could achieve things far greater than they can imagine right now," he said.

The group is leaving Fort Lauderdale at 2 a.m. Saturday. Some of the students said they're praying for snow, since most of them have never seen it before.

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