PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The Priority on Pittsburgh’s North Side was the site of a cancelled wedding Sunday night, but it was still packed with people.
The venue was filled with guests who had purchased tickets to attend the groom’s failed nuptials-turned charity event.
Phil Laboon is CEO of Eyeflow, an online marketing company on the South Side. But these days, national media are trying to get him on their line.
“Do you just flush money down the toilet or do you just roll your sleeves up and try to do something good?”Laboon said.
Initially, Laboon was having trouble selling tickets to the event. Once, word got out from various media reports, interest picked up considerably. In fact, the $75-per-ticket event sold out.
“I couldn’t even sell 12 tickets up until a few days ago,” Laboon said. “[Then], people donating tens of thousands of dollars.”
Proceeds from the “reception that isn’t” will go to a group called Surgicorps.
“They provide surgeries to third world countries, mostly children,” Laboon says.
Surgicorps founder Dr. Jack Demus is loading bags for an upcoming trip to the African nation of Zambia. The retired plastic surgeon founded the nonprofit 20 years ago.
“We’ve traveled to 17 countries,” Dr. Demus says. “We’ve done over 60 missions, screened 8,500 or so patients, operated on over 4,000 patients, taken close to 1,000 volunteers with us. And what we try to do is improve the lives of those who have so little, but deserve an awful lot more.”
Their efforts go as far as donations will take them, even if some of those funds might have gone for wedding cake.
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