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Bride’s Canceled Wedding Reception

Leads To Feast For Mission's Homeless.




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Bride’s Canceled Wedding Reception To Lead To Feast For Mission's Homeless

Published in the Ventura Star Free Press, November 4, - The Ventura County Rescue Mission has received an outpouring of support after a Los Angeles bride’s wedding, set for Saturday in Oxnard, was called off and her father donated the reception to the local homeless community.

Suzanne West, the mission’s community relations coordinator, said her office phone line has been flooded with calls from vendors wanting to donate their services for Saturday’s dinner.

West said there were still about 100 voice messages waiting for her to get through. Calls were still coming in Tuesday, but she had given up on answering them all by herself, instead giving the task to mission staff members.

Among the donations was a photo booth, a candy buffet and floral centerpieces for the 150-guest event at the Embassy Suites Mandalay Beach, West said.

A ballroom at the Oxnard hotel is where the bride dreamed of celebrating her sunset beach wedding, the bride’s father said Saturday from his Maryland home. But after he couldn’t get back his full deposit of about $8,000, he decided to donate the evening to the area’s homeless population, said the father, who didn’t want to be identified.

His plan hit a roadblock when the hotel staff told him the food could not be packaged and sent to the homeless but had to be eaten on site. So he called the mission last Friday for help, he said. Luckily, West said the mission could provide transportation to the event for the men in its recovery program and the women and children at its Lighthouse for Women & Children shelter.

West wanted to use the opportunity to provide a special night for the needy, but in the busy holiday season, the mission didn’t have a budget for the event.

That all changed as soon as news outlets got word of the gesture and the story of one family’s gift took on a life of its own.

But like the bride’s family, the donors wished to remain anonymous, West said.

All they wanted to do was help.