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Man Turns Pre-Wedding Breakup Into Positive to Help Others

Pittsburgh Man Turns Pre-Wedding Breakup Into Positive to Help Others


What do you do if your wedding engagement simply falls apart? If you ask this Pittsburgh groom, the answer isn't crying, wallowing or melting down. In fact, he's about to celebrate -- and he says that everyone is welcome to join.



Phil Laboon was supposed to be getting married on August 30th. He explains, "things just didn't work out for one reason or another so I ended up calling off the wedding pretty much the last minute."

He had already booked the reception and paid for all the food and booze, so Phil decided to squeeze the sour taste of his breakup into something sweet.

"We were kind of talking about it, me and my friends, and talking about almost like farm-aid, like LemonAid. This could help these kids and turning the lemons I got into lemonade."

Those kids he's talking about were born in third world counties- children with devastating medical problems. So Phil turned his wedding reception into a fundraiser for Surgicorps.

Phil explains, "it snowballed into this massive event, where we are getting thousands of dollars in donations, we're selling hundreds of tickets."

Once word got out, his phone started ringing, and soon gift baskets with everything from $50 to $12,000 donations came in.

When he saw how much money he was racking up, Phil realized that his painful split was now a labor of love.

"It makes us feel really good that we're going to literally be changing hundreds of children's lives. It makes me feel like it's not the not the worst thing in the world to cancel a wedding."

This one breakup may in fact make up to $50,000 for children in need.

"I'm really excited to see what the end result of all this is, which is the smiles on all the kids faces," Phil said.

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fchaux August 29 2014 at 6:02 AM

Great..Kudos,,and when I think that the world really sucks,,,something this wonderful happens and a nice man proves me wrong,,,,,never happier that being proven wrong,,,,

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3 replies
mrcruzfl August 29 2014 at 9:19 AM

Good for him...Kudos. But why always for Africa? What about the kids in our country?

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7 replies
stitches609 August 29 2014 at 8:03 AM

help your own country!!

Flag Reply +14 rate up
12 replies
caz1763 August 29 2014 at 9:11 AM

He made a bad situation into a positive and that's great. But, why do all these do gooders always think about "third world" countries? There are plenty of starving children right here in the USA! Plenty of kids needing adoption right here in the USA. When will a do gooder consider us first is what I would like to see happen!

Flag Reply +11 rate up
2 replies
cindypucillo caz1763 August 29 2014 at 11:41 AM

I understand what you are saying, but we have programs to help the kids in our country. We need to do a better job of making sure those in need learn about the availability of help and help them get it. We also need to get our politicians to stop trying to cut these programs and do horrible things to all the judgmental piece of crap peoplewho look down on those who utilize them programs

Flag Reply +1 rate up
MICHELLE caz1763 August 29 2014 at 11:42 AM

Our own laws keep all those needy children in America needy. AND this mission is about access to necessary medical care, which is not an issue for anyone, especially children, in America. The only kids going without medical care here are doing so because of their parents refusal, for whatever reason, to take them to the doctor.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
1 reply
Lisa DeGroff MICHELLE August 30 2014 at 1:12 AM

You have no clue what you are speaking of, if you think that all US children (religious exceptions excepted) have basic necessary care.

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Barb and Russ August 29 2014 at 9:29 AM

He seems like a very nice, level-headed guy. He called it off.... seems like she is missing out on a good man.

Flag Reply +11 rate up
1 reply
fluffyaba Barb and Russ August 29 2014 at 4:51 PM

i can't read if it says if it was a she or a he he backed out of wedding.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
Carol August 29 2014 at 10:13 AM

African kids huh? Charity begins at home. Ever see the "children of Appalachia"? The most poverty stricken people in the nation. Africas got nothing on these forgotten kids ...

Flag Reply +10 rate up
5 replies
mzladysmiling August 29 2014 at 7:43 AM

What an awesome gift to give during a painful time...
I wish many blessings for you of health and prosperity....
This wedding may not have worked out, but what a
blessing in disguise.....
Wishing you great success in all your endeavors.....

Flag Reply +10 rate up
fb723 August 29 2014 at 10:01 AM

It's nice he is doing this BUT there are AMERICAN kids that need help too....

Flag Reply +9 rate up
3 replies
fivewallis August 29 2014 at 10:27 AM

That's all in good, but there are many children here in the U.S. that could benefit from many different surgeries. In fact many in your own city of Pittsburgh

Flag Reply +6 rate up
1 reply
Ashley fivewallis August 29 2014 at 12:55 PM

Go for it! You seem to be concerned. Open up your wallet.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
1 reply
Carol Ashley August 29 2014 at 6:11 PM

Gee Ashley, you're sure concerned about everybody else's donations. I bet the only time you open your wallet, is to feed your big sarcastic mouth. Namaste

Flag +1 rate up
ilenedan2 August 29 2014 at 8:42 AM

He dumped his bride "pretty last minute"? It is great that he used the reception in such a great way to help strangers, but pretty terrible that he treated the one closest to him so terribly.

Flag Reply +6 rate up
7 replies
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