The tenth annual Worldwide Marriage Encounter (WWME) Longest Married Couple Project (LMC) will began accepting nominations on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14th 2020 for their annual campaign.
“We will accept nominations beginning Feb. 14 and ending on May 15, 2020. The awards to the national and state winners will be presented in June, which is also known as National Marriage Month,” said Dick & Diane Baumbach and Bryan & Karen Berland, United States Co-Chairs of the WWME LMC project.
The co-chairs stated that over the past nine years of the highly successful program, thousands of nominations have been received recognizing couples with long marriages. They also said that June provides the perfect time to honor the winning couples.
The first national winners for the project, which started in 2011, were Marshall & Winnie Kuykendall from Lordsburg, New Mexico who were honored for 82 years of marriage. Over the years couples from Nevada, Connecticut, California, Kansas, Florida, Kentucky and North Carolina have been named national winners with the average length of their marriages being 81 years.
The state winners, who are generally married 50, 60 or 70 plus years, will also be recognized for their longest marriages in the June time frame by Worldwide Marriage Encounter couples from their states. Winners of the LMC project are selected solely from nominations submitted.
An Alumni Group has been established for previous national and state winners. Previous state winners can vie for the national title, but they also are considered members of the alumni of longest married couples in their individual states. This allows for new couples to be recognized for both state and national recognition. “It has been such a joy and inspiration to recognize a husband and wife, both nationally and statewide, who have been married for many, many years,” the coordinators explained.
The 2020 national winners will be formally recognized in person by WWME’s United States Leadership/Ecclesial Team, Tony & Sue Morris and Fr. Tom Ogg. They will present the winning couple with special gifts at a ceremony to be held at the winner’s location in the June time frame. The state winners will also receive personal recognition and a special certificate of achievement from the Worldwide Marriage Encounter movement.
Nominations, which are open to all husband and wife couples regardless of religious affiliation, may be submitted at wwme.org and also by email, regular mail or by calling a special phone number.
The contact information for sending in a nomination, which simply requires the name of the couple, their wedding date and where they currently reside- plus a contact phone or email address of the individual nominating the couple, is as follows: Nominations can be submitted at wwme.org or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org, regular mail Bryan & Karen Berland 530 S. Academy Guthrie, OK 73044, and special phone number 405-850-4274. They must be received by midnight May 14th, 2020.
Worldwide Marriage Encounter has been offering weekend experiences for over 50 years and is considered the original faith-based marriage enrichment program. The programs are continually updated to keep abreast of changes in society, and WWME now offers evening and half-day programs that are presented at parishes and other church facilities. The weekend program, traditionally presented as an overnight experience at a hotel or retreat center, can also be presented at facilities where the couples return to their homes in the evenings. WWME has a presence in almost 100 countries, which makes it the largest pro-marriage movement in the world. In North America, the WWME programs are presented in English, Spanish, French, and Korean languages.