Phil LaBoon, a native of Pittsburgh, wanted to get married so he reserved a reception hall, hired a caterer, and sent out invitations. The one thing the handsome young man didn’t secure was a stable fiancé; she backed out at the last moment.
But that didn’t stop LaBoon from having a life-changing celebration.
Just before his wedding was to take place in the fall of 2014, Phil LaBoon found out that his fiancé was opting out of their arrangement for unknown reasons. But instead of retreating into sorrow the 32-year-old marketing professional turned his gut-wrenching predicament into an opportunity to help others. With the money he’d already invested into his wedding reception that wouldn’t happen, LaBoon hosted a fundraiser on behalf of Surgicorps, a non-profit relief organization that helps sick children in third-world countries.
Calling it LemonAID, a pun that perfectly fused his desire to help others with the old mantra of “make lemonade when the world gives you lemons,” LaBoon set out to raise $50,000. But support for his idea quickly grew beyond his wildest expectations. Hundreds of requests came in from all around the nation from folks who wanted to buy tickets to attend the event. Sponsorships soon followed, and several philanthropists donated tens of thousands of dollars.
The whole affair left Dr. Jack Demos, the founder of Surgicorps, overwhelmed with gratitude. “I thought, ‘This is a joke.’ I mean, no one does this. Then I felt like a bride, thank you very much!”
In the midst of the festivities, LaBoon acknowledged, “It’s not my wedding, but I’m sure it will be something I will remember for the rest of my life.”
This story sounds incredibly familiar.
Jesus replied: “A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’ “But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, ‘I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.’ “Another said, ‘I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.’ “Still another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.’ “The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.’ “‘Sir,’ the servant said, ‘what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.’ “Then the master told his servant, ‘Go out to the roads and country lanes and make them come in, so that my house will be full.’” (Luke 14:16-23)
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(Resource cataloged by David R Smith)