Jennifer Nickel knew it would be a long shot to get mega-star Rihanna’s attention, but one worth taking. On Monday afternoon, the call came from Rihanna’s people that the songstress would be donating 225 floor seats to her concert at the South Okanagan Events Centre (in Penticton, Canada) for a group of families bonded together by their adopted children.
“Some of the kids were crying they were so happy. It was a shot in the dark to get these tickets. This was a huge gift and an experience of a lifetime for all of us,” said Nickel after the concert on Monday at the South Okanagan Events Centre.
For the past six years a group of about 300 attend the Harambee Summer Festival in Naramata. Harambee, which means unity, is a way for families who have adoptive children with African heritage to come together and provide support for one another. Nickel said on her blog that the week-long camp means so much to the families. They are surrounded by people who “get being black in a majority white country, get being adopted, get being adopted trans racially and internationally, get multi-racial families and get special needs.”
In May, when the determined parent found out Rihanna, with opening act Ke$ha, would be holding a concert in Penticton, she crossed her fingers that someone would come through and help them get the children there.
“Rihanna is someone that many Harambee kids see themselves reflected in,” wrote Nickel on her blog. “A beautiful, black young woman with amazing talent, even if her history is somewhat complicated. Just like our kids.”
With tickets starting at $95, she knew attendance for the vast majority of the kids coming to the Harambee Camp, and their families, wouldn’t be an option. Nickel put out a plea on her blog to other parents to reach out to anyone they knew to see if they could make the chance to meet Rihanna, attend a rehearsal or even get into the concert a reality.
“I received an email from an adoptive parent who works at MTV USA and they gave me the email of Rihanna’s producer. I emailed and never heard back,” Nickel told the Western News surrounded by smiling kids after the Rihanna concert. “We kind of gave up on that hope, then on Monday afternoon we found out Rihanna had given us 225 tickets and floor seats at that. We gathered everyone around and made the announcement. There was lots of screaming and jumping.”
One of the kids, Jeff Richardson who came to Harambee with his adoptive parents from Delta, was in awe of Rihanna after the concert. He said his favourite song of the night was Umbrella, in which Rihanna stood raised above the crowd on a platform as red ticker tape flew down from the ceiling.
“It was really awesome,” said Richardson. “It was probably the best show I have ever been to. She is really beautiful.”
Source: BCLocalNews.com| Thanks, Giamma!