Canceled events and making lemonade


In early December, an article in the AJC caught my and my husband Rob’s eye. It seems a family in Chicago had to cancel a wedding in 2020 due to Covid, leaving a non-refundable deposit on the books at a local caterer. The family decided to partner with the caterer, and use the money to feed the homeless.

Our son, Doug Learnard, had to cancel his wedding plans last April due to Covid, leaving us with a non-refundable deposit at an Atlanta catering company.

Inspired by the article, we have now partnered with Party Execs of Atlanta, to provide boxed meals we [gave] away through the Real Life Center, Monday, Feb. 8, at lunchtime.

The caterer is excited to contribute to this effort, and the Real Life Center staff has deep knowledge of where the need lies in our own community.

Rob and I feel this is a chance to take lemons and make lemonade, and maybe even pass along the idea by sharing our story. No doubt other families have had to make alternate plans for weddings and other gatherings.

More good news: Our son and his wife were married in a mountain chapel last June, with only immediate family present. And that’s all any of us really needed.

Kim Learnard

Peachtree City, Ga.

[Mrs. Learnard is a former member of the Peachtree City Council.]


  1. What a lovely idea! I’m sure your son’s wedding was very special with just the immediate family present – maybe even more special for that very reason.

    And good for your family for finding a way to spend the catering dollars to do some good for those in need. I’m sure someday when your son and his wife celebrate their 25th and 40th and 50th anniversaries they can look back at this and be glad they could start their life together in this way. It will be a great inspirational story for their future children and grandchildren.

    Let’s hope many more are similarly inspired by your story!