More than three months after Rihanna's appearance at Barrington High School, her camp has sent along a $5,000 check to offset expenses of her brief visit and pay for future student needs.
The "Don't Stop the Music" and "What's My Name" singer visited the school March 22 as the grand prize for winning her "Shine Bright Like a Diamond" contest in which BHS-TV students produced a video highlighting charitable organizations and activities to which students are committed.
Barrington Unit District 220 officials responded with gratitude to the singer's donation.
"We're certainly gratified to receive a contribution from her," spokesman Jeff Arnett said. "Even though this $5,000 gift has been long in coming, her management communicated with us immediately after the event and said she wanted to do something for the students. It didn't take any coaxing or pleading by the district. It was something they offered to do, and it took a while to work through the book keeping process."
Students waited for more than four hours on the first day of spring break to catch her brief appearance.
Facebook commenters who responded to the district's announcement of the $5,000 donation weren't quite so quick to forgive the singer for being so tardy -- at her appearance and with her mea culpa.
School officials, however, said the offering isn't too little, too late.
"She was late in coming that day and a lot of people waited anxiously for her appearance, and even though this money is late in coming, it's still appreciated," Arnett said.
While students waited for Rihanna to arrive, her team continuously gave out free concert tickets and signed merchandise and CDs, he said.
In actuality, Arnett said expenses for the visit were kept to a minimum, he said, totaling $2,000 for some additional security and for signage and printing.
That cost was kept down, he said, by the fact that many officers present were already on duty. And although it was the first day of break for students, many staff members were already expected to work that day.
Additionally, because the bills from that event were paid for in the last fiscal year, Arnett said all of that $5,000 will go to benefit students -- likely those within BHS-TV, who were the reason for Rihanna's visit.
"When you combine the giveaways, it's still a fairly generous amount in total that she's given to the high school and the students," Arnett said. "This $5,000 more than exceeds what was spent that day."
"In all, total, I think the students and everybody involved would consider the event a worthwhile experience."