BuzzFeds has breaking news, vital journalism, quizzes, videos, celeb news, Tasty food videos, recipes, DIY hacks, and all the trending buzz you’ll want to share with your friends.

Feeding Houstonians With a Feast From a Wedding Disrupted

Image result for Feeding Houstonians With a Feast From a Wedding Disrupted
Rain on your wedding day is said to be good luck, but how much does the trick? Danya Skolkin and Josh Tillis didn’t pause to consider the ratio of precipitation to luck when skies turned ominous in the days just before their wedding last fall.

But on Aug. 25, as Ms. Skolkin and Mr. Tillis were finalizing the details of their Sept. 3 wedding in downtown Houston, Hurricane Harvey made landfall, ripping into that city and reaching its peak just before the college sweethearts and their more than 300 guests were to about celebrate.

At first they crossed their fingers, hoping the wedding would go on. But with six days to go and meteorologists in slickers deployed across the city issuing warnings about the devastation to come, Ms. Skolkin and Mr. Tillis, both 28, made the decision to postpone.

“I went from shock to denial to anger,” Ms. Skolkin said. “I had been waiting for this my whole life. It was a nightmare.”

But she knew that what others faced in Houston was far more grave. Hundreds of thousands of Texas and Louisiana residents were displaced because of flooding.
Image result for Feeding Houstonians With a Feast From a Wedding Disrupted
So, with nothing to do but read the fine print on vendors’ cancellation policies and watch Harvey’s waters continue to rise, inspiration struck. After the roads cleared, the couple went to Aishel House, a Jewish nonprofit organization that offers shelter and warm meals to Houston hospital patients and their families. “We didn’t even call, we just showed up, knowing they would be busy in this state of crisis,” Ms. Skolkin said.

Ms. Skolkin and Mr. Tillis had planned to host a dinner for about 100 out-of-town guests at Aishel House that day. Instead of feeding their guests, they fed a three-course meal to 100 displaced local residents.

That particular event space is a special one for Ms. Skolkin and her family. Holly Harwood Skolkin, Ms. Skolkin’s mother, was a founder of Aishel House. Mrs. Harwood Skolkin was not able to see her daughter’s selflessness. In 2012, she died of breast cancer after a 15-year struggle with a stage 4 diagnosis.

But Ms. Skolkin felt her presence. “It was almost like she was there with me,” she said, “encouraging me to not feel sorry for myself and remember how bad other people had it.”

Within minutes, they were deboning and breading chicken breasts by the dozens.

Rochel Lazaroff, a co-director of the house, said Aishel House had already pre-ordered enough chicken breasts, brisket, salads, salmon and desserts to cater the couple’s Shabbat welcome dinner for their long-distance wedding guests. The food, fortuitously, had arrived the week before.

“It brought tears to our eyes,” Ms. Skolkin said after she and Mr. Tillis realized how their postponed wedding plans would able to help their community in need.
Related image
Ms. Skolkin’s father, Dr. Mark Skolkin, a Houston radiologist who remarried two years ago, said he daughter is a “mini-me of her mom. They look alike, they’re silly alike. And she believes the same thing her mom did, which is that the way to heal pain is through helping other people.”

Just three months after Mrs. Skolkin died, Mr. Tillis’s father, Barry Tillis, died of lung cancer. Neither is sure they would have gotten engaged if their personal tragedies hadn’t overlapped.

“I would almost say it’s the reason we’re together,” said Mr. Tillis, a Houston real estate developer who grew up in Denver. “We already had a serious relationship going by the time our parents were seriously ill, but being able to talk about it really connected us. You can’t replace that experience with someone who doesn’t know exactly what you’re going through.”
Related image
Mr. Tillis got to know Mrs. Harwood Skolkin before she died, and Ms. Skolkin got to know Barry Tillis. The elder Mr. Tillis was an emotional father who never missed a youth sports event and cried at every one. “People in our hometown still remember that about him,” Mr. Tillis said.

Memories of Ms. Harwood Skolkin are etched as deeply in her hometown, Houston, especially around Aishel House. “To see people respond when they find out I’m marrying Holly Harwood’s daughter is truly incredible,” Mr. Tillis said. “Their mouths drop, their eyes tear up. She was a celebrity in this community. So many people considered her their best friend.”

Post a Comment



{facebook#} {twitter#} {google-plus#} {pinterest#} {youtube#} {instagram#}

Contact Form


Email *

Message *

Powered by Blogger.
Javascript DisablePlease Enable Javascript To See All Widget