Carol (pictured in blue dress) and Willie Fowler were shocked when their daughter’s wedding was called off, but the food and lavish reception they paid for did not go to waste.
Here and Now reports that the Fowler family reached out to Hosea Feed the Hungry, a local Atlanta organization serving families in need, to help figure out how to best use the food. They ended up turning an disappointing turn of events into a an evening that feed more than 200 homeless people on Sept. 15 at the Villa Christina, an exclusive reception and wedding spot.
Carol told Here and Now that she and her husband knew forty days in advance that their daughter, Tamara, would not be getting married, but they prayed about what to do next.
“And when (my husband) woke up the next morning, he said, we’re going to call Hosea Feed the Hungry and ask if we can donate it to the needy. I immediately looked up the number and called and spoke with Mrs. Elisabeth Omilami, and in doing so, we partnered. And it was such a wonderful feeling just to partner with them.”
It is not clear why the wedding was called off, but Tamera’s mother, Carol, said her daughter was taking the change of plans very well. For Omilami’s part, she initially thought Fowler wasn’t serious.
“At first, I thought it was a prank call because it was such an amazing offering,” she said. “And then she said she wanted to focus on women and families, that she wanted to focus on children at which 70 percent of the homeless in Atlanta are children. And so we had an opportunity to go out and look for places like the Nicholas House and Metro Atlanta Task Force for the Homeless, as well as Mary Hall Freedom House. We’d called them all. We said, the Fowler family is going to have a party for you. Then they said, what do you mean? Then we said, it’s just for you. There’s no cost. All you have to do is get there.”
Omilami said the event was an excellent learning opportunity for the people who attended. They learned basic table etiquette and how to enjoy a four-course meal.
In some photos of the event posted on the Atlanta-Journal Constitution website, Tamara is see greeting guests as if she were in fact getting married. Indeed, Carol said her daughter was handling the letdown of not getting married quite well.
“There’s a message I would like to leave with the public,” she said. “That is events are canceled, and sometimes for unknown reasons. Do not allow that opportunity to go to waste. Call up your favorite charity. Give them an opportunity to use that for people that will not have an opportunity perhaps in life.”