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Smooches for Spence Neighbourhood Association

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A West End couple puckered up — many times — on their wedding day to raise money for one of their favourite organizations.

Recently, the Spence Neighbourhood Association (SNA) upgraded their website with a new, clean layout, and added a section called ‘donation stories’ to generate more donations to the organization. Susan Bjerring and Nigel Moore’s story was one of the first to be posted.

Bjerring and Moore got married on Nov. 5, 2011. Prior to their big day they attended the Wonderful Wedding Show at the RBC Convention Centre Winnipeg, where they saw a booth that featured different ways to incorporate charitable organizations into couples’ weddings.

"One of the people we talked to said, ‘Oh, yeah, some people do donations for kisses,’" Bjerring, mother of an almost-one-year-old son, said. "We thought it was a great idea."

Originally from Charleswood, Bjerring and Moore selected the SNA as their charity of choice because they had just moved into the West End from the downtown area, and they wanted to help the neighbourhood that they immediately fell in love with.

"It was a unique way of looking at raising funds. It’s nice to have people like that, that care so much about the neighbourhood that they make their day about the community they live in," Jamil Mahmood, executive director for the SNA, said.

At the wedding reception, the couple had set up a table in the middle of the dance floor, and on that table was a glass bowl for monetary donations. Every time someone placed money into the bowl, Bjerring and Moore kissed.

"My father-in-law is a former school teacher, and he had one of those big, brass school bells," Bjerring said. "Every time someone brought up money to put into the bowl, we rang the bell."

The donation table was a huge hit at the wedding, because guests were free to donate as much as they wanted.

"We had little kids coming up with toonies," laughed Bjerring.

Bjerring said that after a while, kissing her husband grew tiresome.

"You get kind of sick of it. Instead of kissing each other, I kissed my maid of honour and my husband kissed his best man. We kissed our in-laws. We kissed the people donating. It was such a big part of the reception," Bjerring said.

The couple raised a total of $500 for the SNA. Bjerring had no regrets about incorporating a charity into her wedding because it kept her from turning into a bridezilla.

"You can get caught up in the ‘me, me, me’ show pretty easily," Bjerring said. "You can get lost in the wedding machine, and this was a nice way to do something more than just look at how pretty I looked."

The couple’s two-year anniversary is coming up, and Bjerring is hoping she and her husband can find time to celebrate.

For information about the SNA, visit spenceneighbourhood.org

Twitter: @MetroWPG

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