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.