Phil LaBoon’s wedding was called off at the last minute. But instead of sulking over the situation, he took it as an opportunity to contribute to a good cause.
With the would-have-been bride out of the picture, LaBoon turned his scheduled wedding reception into a charity event. He sold tickets and donation packages for Surgicorps, a charity that sends medical aid to children in undeveloped areas overseas.
“I decided instead of just letting it go to waste at the last minute ... we just tried to come up with an idea real quick,” LaBoon told WPXI.
When a friend mentioned the old adage about turning life’s lemons into lemonade, LaBoon was struck with the perfect name for the event: LemonAID.
“That’s life,” LaBoon said. “If something happens, you roll with it.”
Tickets to the charity event cost $75, and donation options started at $150. Laboon said over 800 people contacted him about attending the event.
“Nothing I experience will ever be equal to the obstacles these kids face each day of their lives,” LaBoon said in a press release. “I'm just glad to be in a situation where I can lend a helping hand.”
Surgicorps founder Dr. Jack Demos was on hand for the fundraiser and says he was blown away by the support.
“I thought, this is a joke,” Demos told WPXI. “I mean, no one does this. Then I felt like a bride, thank you very much!”
Judging by pictures, the event looks to have been a huge success. Though the proceeds from the night went to Surgicorp, LaBoon admits he got a little something out of the fundraiser, too: date offers.
The newly-single LaBoon says he’s received hundreds of messages from women in recent days, including some “from moms or grandmothers looking to set me up with their daughters or granddaughters.”
Not a bad consolation prize.
Laboon says the event turned a sad twist in his life into a positive experience he’ll never forget.
“This fundraiser is my current fiancée or girlfriend,” he said, smiling. “It's not my wedding, but I'm sure it will be something I will remember for the rest of my life.”