Grade 3 student gives up Katy Perry ticket to donate to teachers

Renzey Rozman, eight, on the picket lines with striking B.C. teachers. Renzey gave up her Katy Perry tickets to donate the $250 to teachers instead. (Photo courtesy Erin Rozman)

Renzey Rozman, eight, on the picket lines with striking B.C. teachers. Renzey gave up her Katy Perry tickets to donate the $250 to teachers instead. (Photo courtesy Erin Rozman)

This is cute: Katy Perry is Renzey Rozman’s favourite singer, and for a long time the eight-year-old Westwind Elementary student had been hoping to go to the pop star’s concert at Rogers Arena in Vancouver. On Tuesday, the day of the show, mom Erin Rozman scoured Craigslist and found a pair of tickets for $250 each. Mom wasn’t exactly thrilled about going herself, but figured she’d treat her daughter.

Then a news segment about the B.C. teachers’ strike came on.

“Renzey and I had just been on the picket line with [Westwind teachers] for an hour-and-a-half the day before, and she had heard that their strike fund ran out after four days,” Ms. Rozman said in an interview on Wednesday. “She said, ‘Katy Perry is making millions of dollars and the teachers aren’t making any money.'”

When Ms. Rozman — herself president of the Douglas College Faculty Association — mentioned the tickets were $250, her daughter asked: “Can we give it to the teachers instead?”

“It warmed my heart,” Ms. Rozman said. “My mom is a retired BCTF teacher. I thought, ‘Something I’ve taught has gone through.’ My little social activist. I’m just so proud of her.”

The money will go into a hardship fund for teachers facing financial difficulties.

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Thursday, Sept. 11 update: Katy Perry’s team heard about Renzey and hooked her up!

On Wednesday night, just two hours before the start of Katy Perry’s second (and last) show in Vancouver, the singer’s manager emailed Renzey.

“We heard about your selfless gesture of donating your Katy Perry tickets to benefit your teachers,” the email read. “Since you missed last night’s show, Katy would like to offer you free tickets to her 2nd concert (tonight!) in Vancouver.”

Ms. Rozman said her daughter “squealed in delight.”

“The artist will call ticket window woman knew Renzey by name and complimented her profusely,” Ms. Rozman said. “It was a night she’ll never forget.

“Even from the picket line, those teachers managed to teach a very important lesson — and show one eight-year-old that miracles can happen when people care. What an unexpected and amazing experience.”

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