What started as an Internet prank promising to send Taylor Swift to perform for deaf students in Boston has resulted in $50,000 in donations for the Horace Mann School for the Deaf, including a $10,000 gift from Swift, The Boston Globe reports.
It started in August when trolls on Reddit and 4chan, amused at the prospect of winning a concert for deaf students, hijacked a contest sponsored by Papa John’s and the textbook rental company Chegg that would send Swift to perform for the school that received the most votes on Facebook. When Horace Mann’s administration caught wind of the stunt, principal/headmaster Jeremiah Ford told the Globe that the students love live music and he’d be happy if the school won despite the mean-spirited push. Not to mention, if Horace Mann placed in the top five, they’d receive a $10,000 donation from the contest’s sponsors.
The prank, similar to the one that sent Pitbull to Alaska over the summer, prompted contest organizers to remove Horace Mann from the running, but the school received a rather excellent consolation prize when Swift donated $10,000, a gift matched by Papa John’s and Chegg, along with Cover Girl and American Greetings. VH1’s Save the Music program donated another $10,000 in musical instruments.
Although Horace Mann students won’t get a personal concert from Swift, the singer said each student at the school will receive a free ticket to her next show in the Boston area. “Are we the winner?” Ford told the Globe. “Absolutely.”
Swift’s new album Red comes out October 22nd, and you can hear the title track here.