By John McDevitt

LOS ANGELES, Calif. (CBS) — A Camden, NJ drill team was getting a big surprise on a national talk show airing  this afternoon.

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Queen Latifah flew members of the Camden Sophisticated Sisters out to LA to perform on her show.

Co-founder Tawanda  Jones started the group 28 years ago, with a mission to motivate, educate, discipline, and empower youth through the structure of a drill team.

Jones says the group is in need of a practice facility and has started a fundraising campaign.

“You have to stay in the trenches,  fight a good fight,” she told Queen Latifah during the show taping.  “I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else in the entire world.   The need is in Camden.   We have gone through some troubled times in losing our facility, but God has always provided a way for us.”

What they didn’t know: there was a big surprise in store.

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Queen Latifah made the announcement:
“Why don’t we help you kick off your fundraising?   I think we should help you do that.  The Queen Latifah Show and Sony Studios is giving the Camden Sophisticated Sisters ten thousand dollars!  (cheers and applause)”

The organization currently counts 323 girls as members.   Jones tells KYW Newsradio that “the organization is really all about saving lives.   There is not much to do in our city.”

She says, “The most important thing about this organization is, we are more about education and academics.  In order to be a part, they have to maintain a ‘C’ average or better.    So, with me, it’s all about education.  I could care less about competitions, bookings, or anything like that.  Education is the most import thing to me.”

The show was scheduled to air this afternoon at 3pm on CBS3 TV.


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