California's homeless will gather at a luxurious hotel for an elegant meal, all thanks to a father and a cancelled wedding

By Char Adams
Updated November 04, 2015 02:20 PM

A California father turned a heartbreaking situation into a good deed this week when he donated the food and venue from his daughter’s wedding to the homeless after the nuptials were called off.

The unnamed father paid thousands for his daughter’s wedding and reception at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Mandalay Beach Resort in Oxnard, ABC reports.

Unable to get a refund for the cancelled wedding, the father decided to donate the meal – originally intended for 150 guests – to the Ventura County Rescue Mission.

“He said, ‘I’d hate for this to go to waste when there are so many people who are really hungry,’ ” John Saltee, the director of the Mission, told NBC Los Angeles of the father. “So he asked us, ‘is there any way you can get 150 men, women and children from here to Mandalay Bay Embassy Suites?’ ”

Thanks to the man, the $8,000 reception dinner will go to the city’s homeless on Saturday, some of whom plan to dress up for the elegant event.

“I’ve got a suit and tie and some stuff in the closet,” Danny White, a Mission resident, told NBC. “So I’ll see what I can pull out and dress up pretty nice.”

Saltee said such a donation is a first for the Mission, which reportedly serves more than a quarter of a million homeless men, women and children each year.

“He expressed it this way: He’s tipping it or paying it forward,” Saltee told ABC.

“We told him a lot of these people will never have an opportunity to eat a meal like that at such a fancy restaurant, so he stopped a minute and he seemed to get a little choked up,” Saltee added.

The Mission’s homeless can’t thank the father enough for the generous donation.

“We eat really good here, but we don’t get a chance to be able to go out and do something like that,” Robert Duncan told ABC. “So for this gentlemen to even think about that I think is outstanding. I don’t even know who it is but thank you very much.”