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Good samaritan donates $850 to family denied refund for postponed baby shower

The donor was moved after seeing story on 7 Eyewitness News
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Posted at 1:27 PM, Mar 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-25 14:04:06-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — It took the Peters family just four months to find out why Buffalo is known as the City of Good Neighbors.

Tuesday night on 7 Eyewitness News at 11, Taylor Epps shared the story of Deja Peters, a first-time expectant mother who moved here in November with her mom from Oklahoma City.

The family was planning an April baby shower at Main Events Banquet Hall, and put down an $850 deposit to secure the space. But that was before the coronavirus outbreak changed everything. All restaurants and banquet facilities in New York are closed indefinitely, and the state has banned all non-essential gatherings.

Knowing her baby wasn't going to wait for the outbreak to end, Peters and soon-to-be grandmother Tanonia asked for their money back. Main Events said no, pointing to its own struggles as a small business trying to survive during a mandated shutdown.

"Upon booking events each client signs a contract which states there are no refunds no exceptions," Main Events said in a statement. "To give everyone the same courtesy and sympathy we offered our clients to reschedule all events that were cancelled due to this pandemic. We offered our clients up to one year to reschedule their events with 100% credit to go towards any future event."

That's where an anonymous donor comes into the picture.

A man who saw our story was so moved, he decided to donate $850 of his own money to the Peters.

In an email to 7 Eyewitness News, he wrote:

"I just viewed your segment on WKBW regarding the cancellation and lack of refund for a planned baby shower at Main Events Banquet Hall in Buffalo. Your reporting was excellent and the story is very sad, especially given the fear and uncertainty in the external environment related to the COVID-19 pandemic. While the consequences of the crisis on businesses and consumers are just beginning, a new mom and child deserve a better, brighter start. For this reason, my family and I would to anonymously provide $850 to Deja Peters, representing the deposit I understand is reported to be non-refundable by the catering hall at which her baby shower had been scheduled to occur."

The gesture moved the Peters to tears.

"It's about pulling together and helping one another. We are truly grateful and appreciative," Tanonia Peters said.

"In this situation, I never expected anyone to be so kind after being done so bad," Deja Peters said. "Thank you to your family. If I could give you a hug I would."