Call this a tale of three recent Orange County weddings and, fittingly, we'll start with the one that has a life at stake.
Tara and Dyland Tortarolo were married on Aug. 23. Two weeks later, after they returned to San Clemente from their honeymoon, the new bride was diagnosed with a rare form of aggressive cervical cancer that spread to her liver.
Her husband, friends and loved ones have turned to social media to spread the word, generate support and track her progress.
"Tara has a heart that is larger than life and is the sunshine to every day," Dylan Tortarolo writes in an email. "Her personality is absolutely contagious and brings out the greatest in every person she knows.
"Tara's positive attitude and incredible spirits is what keeps her fighting every day. She has been through test after test, multiple night hospital stays and is starting her trek with chemotherapy. Through all of the battles that Tara has faced she remains in positive spirits and has a smile on her face every day. To know Tara is to absolutely love her. The strength, courage, attitude and outlook on life is something that cannot be measured and makes Tara such an incredible person. "
Gerardo Okhuysen and Chris Pounds also celebrated their wedding this summer with friends and family but, in lieu of a traditional gift registry the couple requested donations be made to the OC Food Bank.
"We chose the OC Food Bank for our wedding registry because we wanted gifts that make a difference," Okhuysen explained. "We have been fortunate to have amazing friends and family who expressed a wish to give us something meaningful for our wedding and, while a place setting or a beautiful serving dish are great ways to express love and appreciation, for us a more meaningful gift was support for a cause that we hold dear."
"We see the fear of going hungry as destructive and debilitating, affecting kids at school, parents at their jobs and homes, and all of society," Pounds added. "We may not be able to fix every problem people face, but we can give a child the food that they need so they can be successful at school and give parents some relief from worrying about having enough food for everyone at dinner. This, we feel, is a great cause."
OC Food Bank is part of the Community Action Partnership of Orange County, which just launched its Hope for the Holidays Campaign that will provide children, families and seniors impacted by poverty with holiday meals, winter clothing and toys for children. Learn how you can help at www.capoc.org/h4h, (714) 897-6670, ext. 3404, or email email@example.com.
And now for the wedding with an unhappy ending (unless you can help) …
As a wedding was being held in the clubhouse at Tustin Ranch Golf Course around 4:45 p.m. Saturday, someone slid over to the gift table and, when no one was looking, took a box containing wedding cards with cash and checks inside, according to Tustin Police Lt. Robert Wright.
The thief then left. He was described as Middle Eastern, from 25-35 years old, wearing a black suit with a gray shirt. His image was captured via surveillance video, which led the police department to release the images above and below in hopes someone from the public recognizes the dude. If you think you know him, contact Detective Lomeli at 714.573.3250.
The other shots: