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Cancelled Wedding Becomes Charitable Blessing for Less Fortunate

By Marquise Jackson | 9/27/2013, 6 a.m.
Residents of Nicholas House. Photo by M. Jackson.

A cancelled wedding can be a devastating blow and an embarrassment to any bride and her family. But not to the Fowler Family of metro Atlanta, who turned an unfortunate situation into a blessing for those less fortunate at Villa Christina at Perimeter Summit on Sunday.

“It’s just so fulfilling to be able to do something like this for our extended community family,” said Mrs. Carol Fowler.

According to Mrs. Fowler, her husband Willie, who also celebrated his 70th birthday on Sunday, approached her and said “God told him to call Hosea Feed the Hungry, because he had actually prayed about it. We thought it would be nice to have people that may not have had the opportunity to do this. So through his vision, we are here today.”

Following the unfortunate wedding cancellation of bride, Tamara Fowler who was in attendance, the family was still under contract for the reception at Villa Christina. Instead of an extravagant reception at Villa Christina, the Fowlers repurposed the venue to feed several homeless families from Atlanta area shelters.

Villa Christina is a lavish Atlanta venue with elegant ballrooms, gorgeous chandeliers and a private lush garden that hosts special events like weddings, receptions, banquets and corporate meetings.

According to Juanita Ramey, Project Manager for Hosea Feed the Hungry, the family said they wanted “to turn this into something that people can still come together and enjoy” instead of loathing over the financial loss they were facing. She was very excited to hear that the Fowler Family chose Hosea Feed the Hungry to give back to the community.

They chose three groups from the list of organizations they usually partner with: Mary Hall Freedom House, Peachtree-Pine Homeless Shelter, and Nicholas House.

With 22 women and 13 children in attendance at the event, Mary Hall Freedom House (www.maryhallfreedomhouse.org.) is a non-profit organization that helps women and women with children through recovery from addictions, homelessness and poverty.

The Nicholas House (www.nicholashouse.org )is a transitional housing facility in Atlanta that provides housing and special programs for homeless families. They arrived with 11 families to take part in the festivities.

Peachtree-Pine Homeless Shelter, with about 50 attendees including women and children, is a part of the Metro Atlanta Task Force for the Homeless that provides programs for people who need shelter, transportation, healthcare and employment, according to their website: www.homelesstaskforce.org.

“They were delighted to be invited to the event and they are all here today celebrating with us,” Ramey said.

All of the families enjoyed a catered meal that included hors d’oeuvres and refreshments prior to dinner. During dinner they were served a fresh salad, baked chicken breast, steamed vegetables, mashed potatoes, bread rolls and cheesecake for dessert. Of course, the meal would not be complete without a tall glass of sweet tea.

Many of the families present showed excitement and gratitude for the event.

“It’s amazing. I didn’t know what to expect in coming. I am so blessed and so grateful to be here,” said Jasmine Turner, 32. Ms. Turner, a resident at Mary Hall Freedom House, is a single mother from Chicago and is 2 years and 5 months into recovery.

The families were also entertained by Atlanta poet Hank Stewart.

“How many times do women and children living in shelters get to come out to Villa Christina and have passed hors d’oeuvres and have a seven-course meal? Hosea Feed the Hungry is very thankful to the Fowler Family and for them opening up their heart to the poor. This will be the first of an annual event for them. So we’re going to have a great time today,” said Elisabeth Omilami, Hosea Feed the Hungry CEO.