October 08, 2015 Thursday - updated 11:59 AM PT

The annual Longest Married Couple Project, Sponsored by Worldwide Marriage Encounter, Begins Saturday October 10, 2015

<p Merritt Island, United States (IBwire.com - October 08, 2015)

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif., Oct. 8, 2015  -- The annual search for the Longest Married Couple (LMC) in the United States and Canada begins on Saturday, October 10, 2015, it was announced today by Worldwide Marriage Encounter (WWME), the original faith-based marriage enrichment program in the world.

Both countries projects will run simultaneously from Oct. 10, 2015 to Jan. 10, 2016 with national winners named in both countries in February 2016. There also will be 50 state winners in the United States and provincial winners in Canada.


The highly acclaimed activity of recognizing couples for their long marriages, which is in its sixth year in the U.S. and third year in Canada, has drawn media attention from around the world. The 2015 U.S. winners, Dale and Alice Rockey of Olathe, KS, were featured in a segment of CBS Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood.  The Rockeys were married 81 years. 


On the United States side of the project, in 2011 Marshall & Winnie Kuykendall from Lordsburg, New Mexico were honored for 82 years of marriage, while in 2012 Wilbur & Theresa Faiss of Las Vegas, Nevada were honored for 78 years of marriage. In 2013 John & Ann Betar of Fairfield, CT were honored for 80 years of marriage. In 2014 Harold & Edna Owings of Burbank, CA were recognized for their 82 years of marriage.


On the Canadian side the national winners have been 2013 - Alice and Arthur John of Ross River, Yukon - married 77 years and in 2014 - Clemon (Clem) and Mildred Mintz of Parry Sound, Ontario - married 80 years.


There are also state and provincial winners recognized at the same time each year for their longest marriages. There have been over 1500 couples nominated for the honors during the last five years. Winners of the LMC project are selected solely from nominations submitted.

"Once again we want to honor the longest married couple in the United States, as well as in each of the 50 states and territories. And, this year the Canadian longest married couple project will be held in the same time frame.” explained Dick & Diane Baumbach and Fr. Dick Morse, the U.S. coordinators for the special project and Jamie & Connie McNeill, the Canadian coordinators for the LMC.


The national winners will be recognized during Valentine's Week 2016, which coincides with World Marriage Day, which is the second Sunday of February.

An Alumni Group was established for previous national and state winners.  Previous state and provincial winners can vie for the national title, but they also are now considered members of the alumni of longest married couples in their individual states and provinces. This allows for new couples to be recognized for both state, province and national recognition.  "What a joy and inspiration it is to recognize a husband and wife who have been married for many, many years," the coordinators explained.



In addition to the longest married couple for the entire United States, recognition will also be given to a couple from each state and territories who has achieved that distinction. In the case of the national longest married couple, appropriate gifts will be presented to them by WWME national leadership team, at a ceremony to be held at the winner’s location during Valentine’s week. The state and provincial 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 by email, regular mail or by calling a special phone number.


The contact information for sending in a U.S. 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: email wwmelmc2015@gmail.com, regular mail Dick & Diane Baumbach 8924 Puerto Del Rio Drive Suite 402, Cape Canaveral, FL 32920, and special phone number 321-613-5180. Nominations must be received by January 10th, 2015.


In Canada contact information to submit nominations is as follows: renewmarriage@gmail.com James and Connie McNeill (902) 892-1364.

Worldwide Marriage Encounter has been offering weekend experiences for over 47 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 the parish 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.

Worldwide Marriage Encounter offers married couples the opportunity to spend time together away from the busyness of the world to focus on each other.  Priests are also encouraged to attend a WWME weekend, which offers insights into their relationship with the church and their parishioners, and how their Sacrament of Holy Orders interacts with the Sacrament of Matrimony.  WWME offers tools for building and maintaining a strong, Christian marriage in today's world. To learn more about the Worldwide Marriage Encounter weekends online, go to wwme.org, or contact the WWME national office at (909) 863-9963.

United States: Media inquires should be directed to: Dick & Diane Baumbach (321) 544-3440  dickanddiane66@bellsouth.net


Canada: Media inquires should be directed to: James and Connie McNeill (902) 892-1364


Media Contact:

Dick & Diane Baumbach
Worldwide Marriage Encounter
North American Weekend Pillar
1430 Scorpious Ct
Merritt Island, FL

Phone: 3215443440
Email: dickanddiane66@bellsouth.net
Website: wwme.org
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