Frederick News-Post, Sunday, May 26, 2013
By Ike Wilson
MYERSVILLE - Christine Casinover had some initial reservations about accepting a wedding giveaway to honor military personnel and first responders who died during the 9/11 terrorist attacks. “But after talking it over with family and friends, we decided to take this opportunity of a lifetime and do it,” Casinover said.
Casinover and her husband, Eddie, of Pasadena, were the first couple chosen for Musket Ridge Golf Club’s Love & Liberty Wedding Giveaway, offered 10 years after the attacks on Sept. 11, 2011. “It was a beautiful event, a beautiful venue and the staff was amazingly helpful,” Casinover said. “They made it very special for us.”
Open to active members of the U.S. military, veterans of the past 12 years or active first responders, the Love & Liberty Wedding Giveaway will provide one couple who serves the community and country a free wedding at Catoctin Hall at Musket Ridge on Sept. 11, 2013.
"Love & Liberty is our way of showing thanks to the men and women risking their lives on the front lines at home and abroad,” said Damon DeVito, managing director of Affinity Management, which runs Musket Ridge. “While we can’t fully show the magnitude of our appreciation, we are delighted to offer this wedding as a gesture of such.” Musket Ridge opened in September 2001, DeVito said, and that anniversary weighs heavily in staff and management’s memory.
“With the Love & Liberty Wedding Giveaway, we declare that day as one to honor our military and first responders,” DeVito said. "We can't fully show the magnitude of our appreciation for the young men and women risking their lives on the front lines at home and abroad, but this is our way of showing a token of thanks.
"We think that day should belong to proud Americans, and who better than our military and first responders?"
In 2012, Catoctin Hall donated the Love & Liberty Wedding to Jacqueline Albright and her fiancé, Justin Boone, who both served in the military and as first responders.
The couple described the event as the wedding of their dreams. “We would never have been able to have such a beautiful day to celebrate with our family and friends without the folks at Affinity Management, Musket Ridge, and all the vendors who donated their services,” Jacqueline Boone said. “Our wedding day was absolutely flawless; the venue is just breathtaking, and we were truly blessed to have had this opportunity and will be forever grateful.”
Plans for the third wedding giveaway are going smoothly, said Bonnie Swanson, the golf club’s event sales manager. The chosen couple’s 150 guests will enjoy a seated dinner reception in the light-filled Catoctin Hall. There is no venue fee and all food and non-alcoholic beverages will be donated by Musket Ridge.
Couples may nominate themselves or be nominated by a third party at www.musketridge.com/sept11wedding and must write 50 words or less about why they deserve a free wedding. Through social media, the event has attracted vendors who offered their time and services for previous weddings, including make-up artists, florists, a disc jockey and an officiant, Swanson said.
“We recently posted this third event,” Swanson said, "and already we have had two people offer their services, for which we are grateful.”