From Jason Cato at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review today:
Ben Roethlisberger and his bride-to-be made it known to guests they don’t need a Cuisinart food processor, a set of 700-thread-count Egyptian cotton sheets or Mikasa place settings.
They’ll forgo the typical wedding gifts in favor of charitable contributions.
Steelers quarterback Roethlisberger, who has an eight-year, $102 million contract, today weds Ashley Harlan, a New Castle native who works as a physician’s assistant at UPMC Presbyterian in Oakland. The couple plans to distribute guests’ contributions to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Pittsburgh and Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.
“I have quite a few things here at my house,” Roethlisberger recently told the Tribune-Review. “Rather than get a bunch of wedding gifts, I figured why not do something that’s kind of fun and unique, and she was absolutely all for it.”
“We are thrilled,” said Eleanor Reigel, executive director of the Ronald McDonald House, which provides housing and support for families of children undergoing medical treatment.
This is the first time the local organization has received donations from a charitable wedding, Reigel said. Roethlisberger helped the charity financially with a move from Shadyside to Lawrenceville and sometimes visits families or serves meals, she said.
The wedding money will help cover expenses for families, Reigel said. “We would never, ever turn away a family who needed to stay here. Ben and Ashley’s generosity will help us with that. … I hope it’s a trend.”
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