ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- A local country club that recently put on a free wedding for a local military couple has been recognized for its efforts to improve the lives of military members and their families.
The Freedom Fund has named the Club at Glenmore the October 2019 Friends of Freedom award recipient.
On Sept. 11, the new owners of the country club provided the free wedding after inviting any recent veteran, active military or first responder couples to enter to win it.
Damon Devito, one of the owners, started the Love and Liberty event to show appreciation for the men and women who serve about ten years ago at another property.
He had noticed that couples were reluctant to book a wedding on Sept. 11 out of respect for the people killed in 2001.
But after talking to first responders and members of the military, Devito learned they were proud to celebrate on Sept. 11 for its significance for freedom and patriotism.
The winning couple, Michaela and Austin Wilcox, had not been able to get married as originally planned due to deployment orders, but with the help of Glenmore, it finally took place.
Glenmore donated the banquet facility and the food, and other vendors in the area also contributed.
Devito says he plans to offer the contest again next year.
The Club at Glenmore also supports other military-themed events, including the upcoming Freedom 5K where it is serving as the start/finish for the race.