Af­ter cou­ple can­cel their wed­ding, woman throws party for home­less

San Francisco Chronicle - - FROM THE COVER - AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

IN­DI­ANAPO­LIS — An In­di­ana woman didn’t want her can­celed $30,000 wed­ding to go to waste, so she threw a party for the home­less.

A bus pulled up to the luxe event cen­ter on Satur­day that Sarah Cum­mins had booked for the re­cep­tion in Carmel, a sub­urb of In­di­anapo­lis. About a dozen vet­er­ans from a lo­cal or­ga­ni­za­tion were among the guests who dined on bour­bonglazed meat­balls, roasted gar­lic br­uschetta and wed­ding cake.

She told the In­di­anapo­lis Star that she and her fi­ance called off the wed­ding a week ago. She de­clined to give a rea­son but said they were left with a non­re­fund­able con­tract for the Ritz Charles in Carmel and a plated din­ner for 170 guests.

Cum­mins said she de­cided that rather than throw away the food she would sal­vage some good from the oc­ca­sion and con­tacted area home­less shel­ters. She cheer­fully greeted and wel­comed her guests when they ar­rived to at­tend the party.

“For me, it was an op­por­tu­nity to let th­ese peo­ple know they de­served to be at a place like this just as much as ev­ery­one else does,” Cum­mins said.

Sev­eral lo­cal busi­nesses and res­i­dents do­nated suits, dresses and other items for the guests to wear.

Char­lie Allen, who has spent three months at a home­less mis­sion, re­ceived a do­nated jacket.

“I didn’t have a sport coat,” he said, tug­ging gen­tly at the lapels. “I think I look pretty nice in it.”

Like other guests, Allen said he was grate­ful for the in­vi­ta­tion.

“For a lot of us, this is a good time to show us what we can have,” he said. “Or to re­mind us what we had.”

Three of Cum­mins’ seven brides­maids, along with her mother and aunts, came to sup­port her at the event.

Cum­mins said that when she ap­proached her for­mer fi­ance, Lo­gan Araujo, about do­nat­ing the din­ner, he agreed to what he be­lieved was a self­less way to han­dle the sit­u­a­tion.

Kelly Wilkin­son / In­di­anapo­lis Star

Sarah Cum­mins talks with men from Wheeler Mis­sion at the Ritz Charles on Satur­day. Cum­mins and her fi­ance called off their wed­ding a week ago.

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