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How One Bride Gave Joy to So Many after a Personal Tragedy

When she could not go through with her wedding, one bride gave her $15,000 reception with DJ, photo booth, fireworks, elegantly catered dinner and dessert to a non-profit so that they could host a party for the families they support! Read on to learn more!

Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez, left, poses with Paige Kowalski at a party held for Parents Helping Parents at Eagle Ridge Golf Club in Gilroy on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023. (Photo courtesy Parents Helping Parents)

Published in The San Jose Mercury News.

sad woman

Recently, a San Francisco Bay Area bride made the courageous decision to call off her December 2nd. wedding: With mere days to go before her big day, she found out something which made her realize that she could not marry her intended. Shattered by this, she picked up the pieces of her life and moved forward.

Since it was too close to the wedding date, she couldn’t cancel the $15,000 reception venue or the catering without paying some hefty cancelation fees. 

She wanted to turn an unfortunate event for her into an unforgettable event for others. Since she’d already paid for the party, she considered to whom she could bless with an unexpected, fully catered party.

Remembering that the San Jose-based non-profit, Parents Helping Parents, had once helped her family, she donated her reception to them. (Parents Helping Parents provides support to families with special needs children.) The leaders of this charity then threw the best party ever for the families and children they support!

children's hands

“I’ve never heard of anyone ever calling a nonprofit and saying, ‘We want to donate a $15,000 party in two weeks to you.’ This just doesn’t happen,” said Maria Daane, PHP’s executive director.

(Garvin Thomas, “Forced to call off wedding, bride donates entire $15k reception to nonprofit so they can host party for children with special needs.” NBC Bay Area, December 6, 2023,

little girl surrounded by balloons

Quickly, PHP contacted their clients; soon, 100 RSVPs flooded in for this magical night.

Parents and children dressed up in their Sunday best to enjoy this fabulous party.

Held at the gorgeous Eagle Ridge Golf Club in Gilroy, California, the party included dinner, dessert, a DJ, a photo booth, and a fireworks display.


Liz Schwartz said it was a rare and special treat for her daughter, Paige, and others like her.

“It’s wonderful to be included and have this celebration of who our community is,” Schwartz said.—ibid.

This bride, who wishes to remain anonymous, turned something bad in her life into something good for others. We are so proud of her!

To see the news story, click here:


mages courtesy of Parents Helping Parents and

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