Pop star and Grammy winner Taylor Swift donated $1,989 Saturday night to HuskyTHON, an 18-hour dance marathon and fundraiser at the University of Connecticut to raise money for the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center.
The donation came after UConn sophomore Igor Lekontsev received a surprise video call from the “Shake it Off” singer Saturday morning.
“I didn’t know anything was going to happen,” Lekontsev said. “Basically I just woke up this morning to her FaceTiming me.”
Lekontsev is a Taylor Swift superfan – he runs a Tumblr blog dedicated to the singer and has loved her music for over ten years, but he said he still isn’t sure why she called him.
“I have no idea,” he said. “I just posted things about her [on social media].”
Lekontsev said Swift has followed him on Twitter since June, but they haven’t interacted until now.
“It was just a call,” he said. “I didn’t know whose number it was.”
Lekontsev said he chatted with the singer over FaceTime about her music. Screenshots of the video call show Lekontsev’s roommates in the video, too.
“It was literally like I was talking to my best friend,” Lekontsev said.
HuskyTHON didn’t come up in their conversation, he said. He thinks she might have seen a link to the fundraiser on one of this social media pages.
“I think it’s actually crazy,” said Sarah Paduano, Vice President of Communications for HuskyTHON. “We didn’t know if it was true at first.”
Paduano said it was one of the largest individual donations the fundraiser had received.
“For a single person, it’s a huge donation,” she said. “Most people don’t raise over $500.”
The $1,989 figure is a reference to her 2014 album, “1989.”
Last year, HuskyTHON raised over $560,000 for the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center.
Lekontsev stressed his thanks for Swift’s donation.
“She did so much today. It’s just amazing,” he said. “I couldn’t imagine this in my wildest dreams.”