Erstwhile Bride-To-Be Transforms Canceled Reception Into Charity Fundraiser

Here’s a pretty good example of someone turning lemons into lemonade. A college professor in NYC has taken what could have been a heartbreaking situation and transformed it into a heartwarming one, using the deposits for her canceled wedding reception and unprinted invitations to host a fundraiser for a local soup kitchen.

When her engagement fell apart earlier this year, her no-longer-fiance told her she could do as she pleased with the $3,500 deposit they’d paid to the restaurant for the reception and the $1,000 they’d given to a printer for the save-the-date notices.

So instead of just taking the cash and putting it in the bank, the professor opted to do some good by using it to host a $99/head fundraiser for the Greenpoint Reformed Church soup kitchen in Brooklyn.

“When the wedding was called off, I was heartbroken. We really thought it was going to work,” she told the NY Daily News. “And then I made peace with the idea. And then I found that it became exciting, the idea of doing something bigger… I’m really happy about it. I know that sounds odd, but it’s a better use of resources.”

Instead of save-the-date notices, the card money was spent on invites to community activists. The restaurant deposit remained at the same Brooklyn eatery that would have hosted the reception.

The menu for the fundraiser includes braised short ribs, savory crab cakes and Scottish salmon. The former bride-to-be hopes to raise $10,000 through the ticket sales and an auction.

If you live in the NYC area and feel like attending, it looks like a few tickets are still available at

Queens College Prof. Robin Rogers turns canceled wedding into gala fund-raiser for soup kitchen [NY Daily News]


Edit Your Comment

  1. ouijabored says:

    Wow, that’s really cool of her.

  2. crazedhare says:

    That is incredible. Not really a consumer issue, but still I’m glad you posted it. It’s great inspiration.

  3. mythago says:

    Her ex-fiancé clearly lost out!

    • LandruBek says:

      He had no choice. He was an Arch-Supervillain, and those guys just can’t afford to be seen with goodhearted, soup-kitchen-supporting nice people.

      ‘Cause if you *are* an Arch-Supervillain and you marry someone like that, the other Supervillains will all start cracking wise about how you like to de-flea stray dogs, and they’ll taunt you by saying, “This is you: ‘Oh Superman can I help you rescue that kitty from up in the tree? Superman you’re so strong!'” Then when they want to blow up the earth or something, and you say, “Uh, okay ….,” then they’re all like, “What? Afraid of what your wife will say about it? You’ve changed, man. You’ve changed.” Doc Oc and Lex will sit you down and warn you about all the problems that lie ahead, and then you’ll decide to break it off.

  4. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    She could legitimately get her deposits back as well from the funds if she chose. If not, it’s a tax write-off.

  5. Big Mama Pain says:

    Haha, she gets the best of both worlds: feeling good about doing something meaningful and rubbing it in the ex-fiance’s face about what a wonderful person he is losing.

  6. Scurvythepirate says:

    To the people saying how wonderful of a person she is, you ever think that SHE is the reason for the wedding to be called off?

    • aloria says:

      Breaking off an engagement doesn’t mean anybody is a bad person. They simply could have realized quite late in the game that they weren’t a good long-term match. Maybe somebody got the job of their dreams across the world and the other was unwilling to move. Maybe they realized they had different opinions on having children or how to raise them. There are a lot of things that could have happened that are simply the result of a bad turn of fortune, not either person’s fault.

    • Miss Dev (The Beer Sherpa) says:

      So what if she is the reason the engagement was called off? What she’s doing is still really, really cool.

    • Big Mama Pain says:

      I wasn’t implying that she is a wonderful person, merely speculating on her feelings on the matter.

    • mythago says:

      If you put down that chip on your shoulder long enough to RTFA:

      Overholser proposed on Oct. 2, 2009, but months later, they called it quits.

      “It’s very hard to blend families. He was going to be moving from Boston,” Rogers said. “We realized that it just wasn’t going to work.”

    • TheGreySpectre says:

      People don’t have to be bad people for marriages and engagements to not work.Sometimes people find that they just don’t mesh well together and go their separate ways that does not necessarily mean either of them is a bad person.

    • runswithscissors says:

      Sigh… you’re the new “always blame the OP” guy around here, aren’t you?

  7. ckspores says:

    In this day and age of constant barrage by selfish brides (bridalplasty, brizdezillas, brides selling sponsorships/seeking donations to pay for their wedding) it is nice to hear about someone that actually cares about the greater good.

  8. HollzStars says:

    Wow, that is such an amazing thing for her to do. I’m really glad you guys posted this story. :D

  9. bdcw says:

    Marry me!

  10. MB17 says:

    I know this is besides the point, but I’ll say it anyway.

    A thousand bones for save-the-dates? What the fuck!

    • Halliday says:

      Agreed, says the photographer that has people balking at parting with $500 for wedding photos.

    • echovictorecho says:

      I agree that it’s exorbitant – if I ever get married my guests will probably get handwritten-by-me STDs (ha!) on cards I buy at Michael’s – but it’s not unusual for custom engraved stationery to cost several thousand, depending on how many cards you get.

      • MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

        “Hey, I’m still waiting to get that STD from you…you said I should have already had it!”

  11. EverCynicalTHX says:

    Very cool idea..kudos!

  12. colorisnteverything says:

    This is certainly refreshing.

    It would be cool if even when you DID get married you asked for donations for a charity close to your heart rather than gifts you didn’t need. After all, most people I know who are getting married do so well after putting together a house.

    • HippieLawChick says:

      For my wedding, I didn’t do favors (those crappy bags of chocolates at each place settle). Instead, I donated $300 to two charities. It felt great to do it, and was a positive impact from our wedding.

  13. Mulva says:

    Last month, another bride donated her wedding reception feast to the Salvation Army – I’m guessing hers was more of a last minute cancellation.

    • kung fu lola says:

      That would be awesome, if the SA weren’t such homophobic f*cks. I bet not one trans or queer person in need attended that meal – the SA goes out of their way not to help them.

  14. Tightlines says:

    It’s nice and all, don’t get me wrong, but $1,000 for save the date notices? Sheesh.

  15. italianbaby says:

    what a classy thing to do. i hope she raises all the money for the soup kitchen.. you go girl.

  16. Keith is checking the Best Buy receipt of a breastfeeding mother (for tips!) says:

    “…She could do as she pleased with the $3,500 deposit they’d paid to the restaurant for the reception and the $1,000 they’d given to a printer for the save-the-date notices.

    So instead of just taking the cash and putting it in the bank…”

    You… don’t really know how deposits work, do you?

  17. Verdant Pine Trees says:

    Robin Rogers is a class act. I hope *she* has a Wonderful Life.