Good Samaritans offer party venue to conned bachelorettes
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (WSVN) -- A weekend that began as a nightmare for a bride-to-be is now heading towards a storybook ending thanks to two caring South Floridians and a desirable piece of real estate.
Monique Harrell and her bridal party arrived Friday at a Miami home she had reserved for a pre-wedding celebration with 11 of her closest friends, only to discover she was the victim of a party scam. After wiring $3,400 to the person they thought was the owner of the residence located on the Venetian Causeway, they arrived to find the doors locked and all contact numbers disconnected. "I had been in contact with, like, over 20 owners," said Denise, Harrell's friend. "This was the house that we decided on; it was a dream house. This was going to be our celebrity-style home for the weekend."
Devastated, the New Jersey resident and her girlfriends filed a police report and began to make plans to salvage their weekend.
Unbeknownst to the disheartened visitors, Drew and Sandy Romanovitz watched their story on Friday's 7News program. The married couple had seen similar stories before, but this time decided to take action, and their mansion on Fort Lauderdale's New River seemed like a promising start. "We have a venue here that's extraordinary, and it's available for hire and weddings and things of the sort," said Drew, "and we just figured we'd make a call and see what we could do to help out."
Harrell and her friends are now guests of honor at a party on Sunday that will likely restore the positive spin on this unforgettable weekend. The Romanovitzes donated the Needham Estate, a cocktail hour and a three-course dinner prepared by C.A. Catering.
One call restored this Jersey girl's faith in humanity after a South Florida rip-off left her and her friends in tears. "This is beyond my dreams at this moment," said Harrell. "I'm just really happy and very thankful and fortunate that Drew and Sandy have opened up their home to us and my girls. Even though we were railroaded and scammed, there's actually good people out there. Despite everything that the girls and I have been through, we know that there's good people out there just like we are."
Now Harrell can save her tears for something more important: her wedding day in September. But before that occasion arrives, the future bride and her friends are planning to spend time on South Beach and will also be going on a free airboat ride.
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