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RHS Drama Wins City Funding
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The Riverbank High drama students invited to perform in Scotland have gotten their emergency funding.

The City of Riverbank has put up $2,250 to kick off the payment schedule for the 15 students who will travel to the world famous Edinburgh Fringe Festival next year.

In a desperate, last minute move, Rio Arts artistic director Joey Huestis told members of the Riverbank City Council on July 14 the group just that day had finished raising $2,750 for the security deposit due May 30 but still needed $2,250 to kick off the payment schedule at $150 per student.

She implored the city to donate or loan that amount to secure the individual student spots.

City Manager Rich Holmer said the city had never donated more than $100 in a situation of this kind. It had financed, for instance, an event for star runner German Fernandez. While a donation might be complicated by government restrictions on making a gift of public funds, a loan of this size might be possible, he suggested.

The next day, however, Holmer and City Attorney Tom Hallinan met with Huestis, changed their tune and announced the city would donate the full $2,250 from its special events fund.

"It affects the whole Riverbank community," said Holmer. "It's a very worthwhile event. We are making the donation to a non-profit organization. It's similar to funding the Cheese & Wine Festival or Beyond Earth Day."