Malmark gift bells have become treasured mementos of special events in many of our customers' lives. Paul Kemp and Mary Virginia Norris have graciously shared a special moment in their lives that included a Malmark bell.
Mary Virginia is the Director of Music Ministries at First United Methodist Church in Opelika, AL where Paul also serves as the Director of Facilities. As they got to know one another, Paul learned that one of Mary Virginia's passions as a church musician is the art of handbell ringing. She studied under the late David R. Davidson, and it was under his tutelage that she honed her craft as a handbell ringer and director. Not only does Paul assist with the setup and teardown of bell equipment, he has on more than one occasion played as a substitute ringer for the church bell ensemble.
As Paul began to plan the proposal, he knew that giving Mary Virginia a handbell would be a meaningful present that she would remember for a lifetime. He called Malmark to find out if his idea for the proposal would be possible. The helpful staff at Malmark helped him choose the right bell (a G4 Silent Belll) with its own case and also engraved the bell with a special question for Paul's soon-to-be fiancé.
The proposal took place in the middle of September as part of a belated birthday celebration for Mary Virginia. After dinner together, the two came back to Paul's house where he gave her a shipping package that contained the special Malmark bell case. Mary Virginia opened the case and tears came to her eyes as she read the inscription on the bell - "Mary Virginia, will you marry me?" She looked over to Paul who was down on one knee with the ring box open. Mary Virginia, of course, said, "Yes!" Over the next week, they shared their story with the bell and choral ensembles at FUMC. As the story spread through the congregation, folks commented that it was a perfect proposal for Mary Virginia with her love of handbells, and that it was wonderful that Malmark helped make this special memory possible. The bell will be displayed in a curio cabinet at Paul and Mary Virginia's new residence after their wedding, which took place on October 27th.
The pictures shown are in the Music Suite at FUMC Opelika where you see the corduroy table covers the bell ensemble uses when they ring 3 octaves of Malmark handbells and 3 octaves of Choirchimes.
Congratulations to Mary Virginia and Paul!! We know that being a part of people's lives is not only a privilege but it's also a responsibility and we hope this is evident in all Malmark products and service.
Interested in our line of gift bells? Find out more here:
Looking for a wider range of unique gifts for holidays and specific occasions? Check out our Lorabell Lifestyle Collection.