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Gastonia venue surprises front-line worker with free wedding

Bansen Farms' owner is a nurse practitioner, so she understands what it's like in the health-care industry.

GASTONIA, N.C. — Kayla McGill and Cole Clampett were overwhelmed when they heard the news: They were the recipients of a front-line health care worker wedding giveaway by a local venue.

"It's honestly hard to believe somebody would be that generous," Clampett said.

"She was like, 'Just show up in your dress and him in his suit with your 30 people, and I was like 'Oh my gosh!'" McGill recalled.

McGill is a nurse.

"Nursing, in general, is such a taxing job, and then in a pandemic and to go through a wedding on top of it, I can't even imagine having to do all that, and so this is just a way to take that stress off one person," Allison Bansen, the owner of the beautiful wedding venue Bansen Farms in Gastonia, shared.

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Bansen, who is a nurse practitioner herself, as well as a mother-of-three and a breast-cancer survivor, said McGill was the perfect candidate, but she said it was difficult to choose between all the candidates.

"Kayla's story was so cute, and it was a true reflection of a front-line worker," Bansen said. "I mean, she is in the front lines swabbing, so she qualifies immediately for us, so we picked her, but ... I wish I could've given them all a free wedding."

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It's more than just a venue, too. Many of the area's top vendors are donating their services to make sure McGill and Clampett's special day is perfect.

"I'm sorry if I get emotional, it's just been really really tough," McGill said, fighting back tears. "When she called me, I was just like, 'Oh my gosh, we're still being seen as those health care heroes,' So it's really been such a huge blessing. It's kind of turned things around for me."

McGill and Clampett will tie the knot on April 10.