(Charleston, SC, April 4, 2011) – Carnival Cruise Lines hosted a first-ever post-race wedding ceremony at the 2011 Cooper River Bridge Run this weekend, the culminating event in the Race to the Altar contest and fundraiser which resulted in a $10,000 donation to the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) Children’s Hospital.
Carnival’s Race to the Altar contest was part of the line’s sponsorship of the annual 10K run, which is the third largest 10K race in the U.S. Following a nationwide search, Carnival selected Andy Cook and Tina Berwanger as the winning couple based on their inspiring personal story. Immediately following the 10K run, which the couple ran in custom-designed wedding attire, they were married in a beach-themed ceremony in Charleston’s Marion Square, complete with sand, calypso band and signature Carnival slushy drinks. For every slushy served, Carnival donated $1 to MUSC Children’s Hospital for a total $10,000 donation.
“The wedding in Marion Square was the kind of spontaneous and fun experience that Carnival creates for our guests,” said Jim Berra, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for Carnival Cruise Lines. “This was our second year as a sponsor of the Cooper River Bridge Run, which is a great event and a wonderful opportunity to show our support for Charleston and MUSC Children’s Hospital.”
The day prior to the race, at the Kid’s Fun Run in Charleston’s Hampton Park, Carnival Cruise Director Malcolm Burn led the crowd of children and their families in forming Charleston’s largest conga line.
Carnival’s sponsorship of the Bridge Run was part of a yearlong partnership with MUSC Children’s Hospital, which includes in-kind and monetary donations, and fundraising events, as well as quarterly hospital visits by crewmembers from the Carnival Fantasy, which is based in Charleston year-round.
As winners of the Race to the Altar contest, Cook and Berwanger received a five-day Bahamas honeymoon cruise aboard Carnival Fantasy.
To learn more about the Race to the Altar contest and the winning couple’s story, visit facebook.com/carnival.
Carnival Cruise Lines, a unit of Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE: CUK),
is “The World’s Most Popular Cruise Line®,” with 22 “Fun Ships” operating three- to 16-day voyages to The Bahamas, Caribbean, Mexican Riviera, Alaska, Hawaii, Panama Canal, Canada, New England, Bermuda, Europe, the Pacific Islands and New Zealand. The line currently has two new 130,000-ton ships on order – Carnival Magic, set to debut in Europe May 1, 2011, and Carnival Breeze, scheduled to enter service in spring 2012. Additional information is available at www.carnival.com.
Founded in 1824 in Charleston, The Medical University of South Carolina is the oldest medical school in the South. Today, MUSC continues the tradition of excellence in education, research, and patient care. MUSC educates and trains more than 3,000 students and residents, and has nearly 11,000 employees, including approximately 1,500 faculty members. As the largest non-federal employer in Charleston, the university and its affiliates have collective annual budgets in excess of $1.7 billion. MUSC operates a 750-bed medical center, which includes a nationally recognized Children’s Hospital, the Ashley River Tower (cardiovascular, digestive disease, and surgical oncology), and a leading Institute of Psychiatry. For more information on academic information or clinical services, visit www.musc.edu. For more information on hospital patient services, visit www.muschealth.com.