Charles and Kay Allen's true wedding anniversary might come around once every four years, but they wouldn't want it any other way.
"It's not something that's going to occur very often," Charles said. "It has a uniqueness to it that we thought was neat."
The couple, who will celebrate their "11th" anniversary Friday, married during a leap year on Feb. 29, 1964, at Warren Baptist Church in Martinez.
Nearly 44 years later, their marriage is still going strong.
Charles and Kay met while attending Evans High School. He was a senior on the football team and she was a junior on the cheerleading squad. Charles' father, who was a biology teacher at the time, helped match the two up.
The couple briefly broke up once Charles started college at Georgia Southern University, but rekindled their romance shortly thereafter.
Charles proposed to Kay in December 1963.
Kay said she knew she didn't want a long engagement.
"I wanted to have an April wedding," she said. "I wanted to have a spring wedding."
Kay said Charles decided on a February wedding, and when they looked at a calendar and saw that Leap Day fell on a Saturday, Charles was hooked on the date.
"Everything just kind of fell into place," she said.
Charles was 20 years old and Kay was 19 when the two married in 1964.
Since then, the Allens have raised two children, John III and Lori, and have lived in the same house in Evans for more than 30 years. The couple still attends Warren Baptist Church, where they were married.
Kay has served as Columbia County's tax commissioner since 1985.
She is running for re-election. Charles intends to seek a seat on the county commission.
Because their actual anniversary takes place only once every four years, the Allens said they celebrate a little more than usual whenever the date hits Feb. 29.
For their anniversary four years ago, Kay said they ate dinner at the Pinnacle Club in downtown Augusta and Charles gave her a diamond necklace as an anniversary present.
The couple also has spent weekends in Atlanta enjoying fine dining and shopping during past anniversaries.
If it's not a Leap Year, the couple said they celebrate their anniversary the day before or after their anniversary date.
"I'm pretty conservative in life and I thought that I'd just have to buy an anniversary present every four years," Charles said, smiling.
"But it didn't work out that way.
When their anniversary rolls around this year, Charles will be in Florida for business.
"I expect him to leave me a big present, or either bring me back a big present," Kay said.
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