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Big Cat Rescue, Corp.
October 26, 2012

Several years ago while attending graduate school in Boston, I did a project on non-profits and discovered the Big Cat Rescue. I was amazed at the level of care they provided these big cats and the transparency they allowed to the public. Their mission and cause to educate the public while caring for these exotic cats got myself and my then boyfriend, now husband, Neil hooked! When I found out that they did wedding there we both said to each other "this is the place we will get married!" And sure enough that's what we did on October 19, 2012.
We are both from Massachusetts and so is our entire family. It should be noted that he and I never visited the sanctuary and simply followed them via Facebook and their internet site. After we got engaged earlier this year I immediately contacted their wedding coordinator Sherry who was the most helpful woman you could ever meet! Phone calls and e-mails on my part were constant and she was willing to help me every step of the way from inquiries on traffic from St. Petersburg to where to go for dinner afterwards. I could not have asked for a better person to help me. I knew this for sure when I arrived the day of and she literally was there to meet me with open arms and a hug.
Hearing Joseph the Lion making his cat-like calls in the background during the ceremony, seeing Max the Bobcat laying out by the lake while I walked down the isle and Shere Khan and China Doll hanging out opposite the ceremony site was by far the best part of this whole experience. My guest list included Lions, Tigers, Bobcats and more! Who else can say that!?
After the ceremony, we were allowed to take our time with pictures and moved along with a guided tour with Sherry. This place was so amazing even our musician wanted to tag along for the tour! Sherry brought us around and explained how the sanctuary functions and sustains itself, the awful treatment the cats had endured prior to coming there and educated all of us on how the sanctuary came to be.
Seeing these animals in person for the first time and how happy they were made every effort and sacrifice we made to make this day possible completely worth it. I am so glad that every cent we gave them will go directly to the cats. Next to marrying each other, having our wedding at BCR was the next best decision we made.
Thank you so much from the bottom of our hearts for making this day so memorable and for educating us and our friends!

Tanya & Neil Gouveia

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Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

MY ROLE:
General Member of the Public