MINNEAPOLIS – A Maplewood woman whose wedding was recently called off turned the canceled nuptials into a charitable celebration benefiting sick children and their families.
Jenna Yorkovich, 23, broke up with her fiancé seven weeks ago, and soon after, realized her payments for the venue and catering were non-refundable.
On the night she was supposed to walk down the aisle at Nicollet Island Pavilion in Minneapolis, a crowded room of Ronald McDonald House volunteers became her guests of honor instead.
Yorkovich wants to be a pediatric nurse and currently works at Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis. She encounters many families with sick children who depend on Ronald McDonald House.
“Seeing how Ronald McDonald influences people’s lives, I thought it would be a great phone call to make and a great phone call turned into a great event so that helps,” said Yorkovich. “It took a lot of courage to do it and I’m doing everything possible to make the best of the situation.”
Ronald McDonald House would not otherwise afford such a celebration for their faithful volunteers.
“You know they call Ronald McDonald House the house that love built and I’m so grateful for the family’s graciousness and their blessings today,” said Jill Evenocheck, Ronald McDonald House President & CEO.
“The volunteers turn Ronald McDonald House into a home. It’s filled with a lot of love, because that is what a lot of the volunteers are able to give the families in need of it, in a very big way, so this is a little bit of our love to them,” said John Yorkovich, Jenna’s father. “She is the one that pursued it, so I’m very proud of her for doing that.”
More than 150 volunteers were present, many thanking and hugging Yorkovich for her selfless act during a difficult time. The volunteers help serve 5,000 families every year.
“I feel like I gained a whole other family with Ronald McDonald now and I can’t wait to volunteer my time with them. It’s a different form of love and I’m so grateful for it,” said Yorkovich.
In the same spirit, she will also continue with her non-refundable honeymoon, taking her mom to the Dominican Republic instead.
“The support from family has been unreal, so that helps,” she added.