A wedding for a young couple can sometimes be a way of acquiring, through gifts, the necessities to jump-start a home life. But when a couple have been together for over 20 years and are in need of nothing in particular, what do they do?
For Bill Rosenthal and Jerry Gebo, who were recently legally married, it was a no-brainer. When the couple wed at Townline BBQ in Sagaponack on Nov. 11, they asked their guests to donate to Project MOST.
The couple’s son, Adam, who has special needs, attends the after-school enrichment program five days a week. “It’s a safe, productive space to develop friendships,” Mr. Rosenthal said on Monday. “It offers yoga, cooking, and other life skills.”
Mr. Rosenthal and Mr. Gebo started a Web site for their wedding, with a page titled “Gifts.” When guests clicked to that page, they saw Mr. Gebo’s message: “In lieu of wedding gifts, Bill and I request that donations be made to Project MOST.”
The site went on to say that “this organization has lost half of its New York State funding due to budget cuts. The donations made will greatly benefit the children in our community.”
“It’s a sizable gap, but we did our best to close it a little,” Mr. Rosenthal said. All in all, the couple’s effort brought in $6,425 to Project MOST.
“The program was originally directed toward more lower-income working parents,” said Mr. Rosenthal, who runs an organization that teaches communication and presentation skills, mostly to executives. “But now it has expanded to be more inclusive, and also to offer programs the kids can’t get anywhere else,” he said. “I think that’s fabulous.”
The couple encourage others to take the path they chose at their wedding. “Project MOST is offering a place that kids can have enriching social activities and do something fun while learning,” he said. “They can always spend some time vegging in front of the TV when they get home.”