Ben Ahlers has dreams of one day pursuing a career in musical theater.
This weekend, the Fort Dodge teen will have an opportunity to bring his dreams to life as he participates in the Broadway Dreams Foundation Champagne and Caroling benefit gala in New York City.
Ahlers left Friday for New York, where he will have the chance to take in the sights of the city before beginning intense rehearsals with a select 15-member ensemble Sunday and Monday.
"We'll be practicing all day Sunday and Monday," said Ahlers.
Ahlers participated in a weeklong Summer Intensive Workshop for musical theater sponsored by the Broadway Dreams Foundation in Omaha, Neb., in July where he worked alongside Broadway performers Tituss Burgess and Nicholas Rodriguez, who will be performing in the Monday evening concert.
"I'm really looking forward to it," said Ahlers. "I had no idea I would get to do this. I was just at the workshop to learn as much as I could. They emailed me to see if I would be interested in performing at the benefit and of course I had to say yes."
The black tie fundraising event will be held at Celcius in New York City's Bryant Park.
While in New York, Ahlers will also visit with musical theater professors at Yale University.
"Music is part of my life," said Ahlers. "My mom has always been involved in music and I was raised that way." His mother is Susan Ahlers Leman, of Fort Dodge.
Ahlers is a sophomore at Fort Dodge Senior High and recently participated in the Iowa All State Chorus. He is a student of Shelly Bottorff and Joe Svendsen.