If you canceled your wedding a month before the Big Day, ending a long term relationship, losing money, facing friends and family, how would you feel? Would you be upset? Overwhelmed? Most importantly, would you be able to think how you can help those in need during YOUR time of need?
That's just what Jenny Ly did, and her empathetic act is an example to us all.
When it came time to send invitations a month before the date, she couldn't do it. Jenny knew something wasn't right. The bickering that had consistently grown since she said "Yes" was a sign that they shouldn't get married. Both Jenny and her fiancée decided it was for the best to call it off, and then came the logistics.
What to do with venue?
Jenny's friends suggested that she throw a big party, but after attending a Relay For Life event the very day after she nixed her nuptials, she knew exactly what to do with her planned big day.
She immediately contacted the American Cancer Society and told them she wanted to turn her lemons into lemonade by turning her canceled reception into a fundraiser. Cue Beyonce, "Lemons Into Lemonade" was born.
Meet Jenny Ly in this video:
The title was coined by one of the Relay for Life ACS employees, and it was perfect. Jenny says once she thought about those who needed help, once she stepped out of her despair and thought about others instead, she immediately felt better. She says the survivors that she met at the events are always seeing the silver lining in a dire situation, and it's incredibly inspiring.
Everything fell in place. She called the venue with the changes, and they were supportive, working with her to push the date back a bit to accommodate even more guests than expected at her reception! She invited comedians, arranged raffles, and games to raise more money for the cancer patients and their families.
Jenny says, "A lot of the guests personally introduced themselves to me and let me know they were cancer survivors or had family who were. They told me they really appreciated what I was doing, and that was amazing."
"We're very grateful that she donated the event as a fundraiser," says Silvia Constanza, Relay for Life Senior Community Manager. "With the money we were able to raise we will fund more free services to our local community, patients, and fund research."
All in all, Jenny Ly turned what could be a very sad day in her life to one that was dedicated to others, one that she says made her stronger. She realized her Big Day was Bigger than her, bigger than all of us. She raised $3200 for the American Cancer Society and is organizing her own Relay for Life team next year!
If you would like to organize your own Relay for Life event, visit www.relay.acsevents.org or call 1-800-227-2345.
When we put others first, well that's just as sweet as sweet, sweet lemonade... and even Queen Bey would agree.
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