They were supposed to be celebrating at a Pennsylvania summer camp as Mr. and Mrs. Fenley, enjoying the second day of a planned weekend wedding.
But instead, the couple, Sara Pagano and Brian Fenley, both 34 and of Babylon, spent their day driving around to collect cans of food and checks as part of “The Future Fenley’s Food Drive.”
“I couldn’t have imagined having to cancel my wedding and having such a great day,” Pagano said Saturday. “I’m overwhelmed by the love and generosity of the people I’ve chosen to surround myself with.”
Pagano and Fenley, who met four years ago at a Babylon bar, had to cancel their May 1 wedding in March as coronavirus cases surged. After much grappling, the couple decided to postpone their wedding to April 30, 2021.
“We can’t be sad or upset because other people have much, much harder things to deal with right now,” Pagano said. “We are really fortunate that if having to postpone our wedding for a year is the biggest problem that we have, then that’s pretty good.”
But the couple said they wanted to turn their day of disappointment into something positive.
They had heard about the need for food during the pandemic from Pagano’s aunt, who is friends with Randi Shubin Dresner, director of Island Harvest. Dresner said some of the volunteers who used to help out at the organization were now finding themselves asking for food.
So when Pagano went on a run about two weeks ago and saw a big food donation box outside a neighbor’s home, it all clicked, she said.
The couple decided that they would dress up and decorate their wedding mobile to pick up food. Then they parked themselves at the parking lot of the Babylon pool from 4 to 6 p.m. to collect more items.
“Everybody is texting us,” said Fenley, standing next to his “future wife” who donned a white dress, not her wedding gown, and wore a mask with the word “Bride” on it. “My phone is going off the hook right now.”
Fenley said they would unload the donated food and deliver the $5,000 in checks on Tuesday to Island Harvest.
“Now instead of looking back years later on something that didn’t happen, they are able to talk about something that did happen,” Dresner said Saturday. “I can’t think of anything better that anybody could think of doing than something like this today. It’s just incredible.”