A community comes together to provide a celebration of marriage for 10 military couples

Created: 11/10/2011 06:03:37 AM PST

As True Emotions photographers Kimberly Saxelby and Maria Kumlander of Upland patiently waited for the brides to make their grand appearances, Saxelby asserted, “The least we can do is provide a service for them. Our service cannot compare to the service they’ve rendered for this country and us.”

Saxelby’s statement summarized the general sentiment of photographers, hair stylists, wedding dress shop owners, caterers, restauranteurs, makeup artists, bakers, jewelers, drivers, florists, tuxedo tailors, hotel executives, vintners, entertainers, waiters and dollar donors – collectively functioning under the umbrella of Operation Community Cupid – who joined forces to provide free weddings for 10 soldiers, seamen and Marines on Oct. 29.

Jody Gmeiner, Pomona Valley Habitat for Humanity executive director, wore comfortable shoes to make sure her feet didn’t hurt during the day of ripping and running with hundreds of other volunteers gathered to help Inland Empire Business Journal publisher Bill Anthony realize his dream for the military men and women fighting to preserve American freedom and world peace.

Bette Gill, the Ontario Airport Hilton Hotel sales manager who served as wedding ceremony coordinator, stood nearby, smiling as 10 beautiful brides, their grooms and wedding party members barely contained their emotions about what all called an “amazing” display of appreciation and gratitude for the commitment soldiers make.

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