Wednesday, June 29, 2005

A Loving Alternative to the Runaway Bride Ending

I love this story. From KNBC via AP, today....

Bride Calls Off Wedding, Throws Party For Homeless

Everett, Wash. -- A young woman decided to call off her wedding 12 days before the event and her parents knew they'd be stuck with the bill, so they decided to have a party anyway and invited the homeless.

Residents of the Interfaith Family Shelter, housed in a former convent across from Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church where the wedding had been scheduled, attended the bash thrown by Katie Hosking, 22, a medical assistant at the Everett Clinic, and her parents, Bill and Susan Hosking of Lake Stevens.

"They had a DJ and really good music. It was a warm, friendly atmosphere. The food was delicious. It was a nice break with people not worrying about anything for one night," shelter manager Carol Oliva said. "Toward the end of the evening, they packed up all the leftover food and we got to bring it back to the shelter."

One homeless woman got her son out of a wheelchair, "took that child out on the dance floor and picked him up and danced with him. It was a beautiful sight. Our kids realized that even when something bad happens, somebody else has something worse," Susan Hosking said. "It was an eye-opener."

The almost-bride would not say what led to the breakup, only that it happened June 6, 12 days before the scheduled date of her wedding.

Planning a reception for 150 guests at the Echo Falls golf and country club, her parents had made a $2,500 down payment and written another check for the $6,200 balance. Club policy requires full payment for any event that is canceled less than 60 days before the scheduled date.

"Personally, it's a really hard time for a family," said Jessica Gamble, the club's catering sales manager. "It's a really awesome thing that they did. They made the best of it."

Susan Hosking said that once she and her husband "got past the panic," they took a suggestion from her brother-in -law in New York and decided to invite the staff and residents of the shelter operated by the Interfaith Association of Snohomish County to share in the evening.

More than 50 family members and close friends were joined by about 40 homeless people, shelter workers and volunteers. The shelter staff arranged rides to the club.

Instead of a wedding cake, chef Michael Greb produced strawberry shortcake to top off a menu that included baron of beef, salmon, shrimp cocktail, fettuccine and fruit.

"Oh my gosh, we had so much fun," Katie Hosking said. Shelter residents, she said, "came up and thanked us several times - thank you, thank you, thank you. We all danced. I still got to dance with my dad."

Her mother said she was happy to demonstrate an alternative to the case of Jennifer Wilbanks, 32, who got cold feet and vanished shortly before a 600-guest wedding in Georgia. Wilbanks pleaded no contest this month to telling police a phony abduction story and was sentenced to probation and community service.

"That food would help feed people at the shelter for another three or four days," she said. "With the notoriety of the runaway bride, I would like people to know that these things do happen, and there is another outlet. The money is spent."

1 comment:

purple_kangaroo said...

What a neat story.