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Fourth Annual Search Begins for Longest Married Couples in United States, Sponsored by Worldwide Marriage Encounter

Contact: Dick & Diane Baumbach, Worldwide Marriage Encounter, 321-544-3440, dickanddiane66@bellsouth.net

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif., Oct. 15, 2013 /Christian Newswire/ -- The fourth annual search is on for the longest married couple in the United States, it was announced today by Worldwide Marriage Encounter (WWME), the original faith-based marriage enrichment program in this country.

This is the fourth consecutive year for the highly acclaimed project recognizing couples for their long marriages. Three years ago Marshall & Winnie Kuykendall from Lordsburg, New Mexico were honored for 82 years of marriage, while two years ago Wilbur & Theresa Faiss of Las Vegas, Nevada were honored for 78 years of marriage. This year John & Ann Betar of Fairfield, CT were honored for 80 years of marriage. There were also 50 state winners recognized at the same time each year for their longest marriages. There have been over 900 couples nominated for the honors during the last three years. Winners 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. The national winners will be recognized during Valentine's Week 2014, which coincides with World Marriage Day, which is the second Sunday of February," explained Dick & Diane Baumbach and Fr. Dick Morse, the coordinators for the special project.

An Alumni Group was established for previous national and state winners.  Previous state 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. This allows for new couples to be recognized for both state 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 United States couple, appropriate gifts will be presented to them by Ron & Judy Pekny and Fr. Rocky Grimard, the WWME national leadership team, at a ceremony to be held at the winner's location during Valentine's week. 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 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: email dickanddiane66@bellsouth.net, regular mail Dick & Diane Baumbach 8934 Puerto Del Rio Drive Suite 204, Cape Canaveral, FL 32920, and special phone number 321-613-5180. Nominations must be received by January 10th, 2014.

Worldwide Marriage Encounter has been offering weekend experiences for over 44 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. It 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.

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