Event co. to throw party for ripped-off teen

SANTA ANA, Calif. A Good Samaritan steps in to help an Orange County family victimized by an event planner who disappeared with their money, threatening to shatter a teenager's dreams.

Eyewitness News viewers have come forward to help a family victimized by a bridal shop owner who took thousands of dollars to plan a special party and then vanished. A party-planning company got on the phone and called around to other party-planning businesses, and within two hours, they got a party planned for one Garden Grove family.

Norma Rodriguez and her daughter Kimberly say their prayers have been answered.

"You see how hard we work, but you see angels here," said Rodriguez.

Good Samaritans from The D'Jay Company helped make Kimberly's dreams come true after seeing the Eyewitness News exclusive Wednesday.

Rodgriguez is distraught after she paid party planner Gloria Cook nearly $12,000 for her daughter's quinceanera to celebrate her 15th birthday next month. Cook disappeared a few weeks ago.

"I'm getting kind of choked up myself," said Jay Fitzgerald, The D'Jay Company. "My staff felt really, really upset at what happened to you. We're going to throw that party for you, everything."

"I can't believe it. Thank you so much," said Kimberly.

Everything from the music to flowers, video, even a photo booth.

"Imagine that is a banquet facility. They're going to feed all 300 people and they're going to give you their place to have the party," said Fitzgerald.

Rodriguez is grateful but she still feels bad for others who trusted Cook.

Cook is the owner of Celeste's Bridal in Santa Ana. Her shop has closed. At least five alleged victims paid Cook money, mostly for quinceanera celebrations and allege they too are out thousands of dollars.

While police investigate, one teen who lost her trust in others after watching her parents lose years' worth of savings, has had her faith renewed by the gesture of kindness.

"It's going to be the quinceanera of the century," said Fitzgerald.

Kimberly's quinceanera is planned for Nov. 28.

Anyone with information related to Gloria Cook is asked to call Santa Ana Police at (714) 245-8400.

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