When life gives you lemons ... empower women

Jilted fianc

Published September 8, 2006 4:51PM (EDT)

Kyle Paxman, 29, found out her fiancé was cheating on her six weeks before their wedding. With 180 guests set to fly to Vermont from around the country -- not to mention costly items like the menu, flowers and dress all set -- Paxman was determined not to cancel her reception, she told the New York Times. So instead of holing up with "The Wedding Singer" and "Die Hard: With a Vengeance," Paxman decided to turn her reception into a charity benefit for women.

According to the Times, "Paxman and her parents have invited 125 women, only some of whom were the original invitees, to enjoy the cocktails and four-course dinner and, in return, she hopes they will write checks to two charities she has chosen: the Vermont Children's Aid Society and CARE USA, the American affiliate of the international relief group."

Bibiana Betancourt, the fundraising executive at CARE, told the Times, Paxman's "not only empowering herself, she's reaching out and helping to empower other women." What a star! Imagine if jilted lovers around the world took their cues from Paxman -- or if couples decided that rather than spending an arm and a leg on a wedding, they'd instead raise money for their favorite charities. Now there's a trend we'd like to see.

Update: An astute Broadsheet reader reminded us that there are already great organizations -- notably, the I Do Foundation -- that help couples donate to charities. If you have suggestions for other ways of turning wedding decadence into charitable giving, please share them in the comments!

By Sarah Goldstein

Sarah Goldstein is an editorial fellow at Salon.

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