Big Cat Rescue participates in many different types of events, both on-site and off-site. These events are attended for promotional and fund-raising purposes. Events may be on-site at the sanctuary, or off-site at various fairs, parties, stores, festivals, schools, etc.
EVENT PARTICIPATION REQUIREMENTS
EVENT PARTICIPATION GUIDELINES
Personnel – All events must have a yellow or green level (Keeper or Partner) in attendance at all times.
Dress Code – Onsite event participants must wear a clean Big Cat Rescue volunteer shirt, and clean pants or shorts. Offsite event participants may wear clean Big Cat Rescue apparel (volunteer or gift shop merchandise), and clean pants or shorts.
Punctuality and Attendance – Please arrive at the event when the Event Coordinator tells you. Do not arrive too early. These events take a lot of coordination and we may not be ready for volunteers that arrive too early.
Typically you will arrive at the sanctuary at least 30 minutes before the scheduled event time (for on-site events) or the scheduled departure time (for off-site events), unless otherwise instructed.
If you have agreed to work the event but cannot make the scheduled time or can not attend the event, please notify the Event Coordinator in charge as soon as possible.
If volunteers show up late, leave early, or do not show up at all, it can seriously affect the outcome and success of an event and negatively impact Big Cat Rescue’s reputation in the community.
Behavior and Presentation – A professional attitude must be maintained at all times. Remember that how you look, how you act, and what you say is a direct reflection on Big Cat Rescue. We are a nonprofit organization that greatly depends on donations from the public in order to survive. The impression you make on the people with whom you meet and interact can have a direct impact on their support.
Education – Volunteers working an event should find out in advance what kind of event and what kind of preparation might be needed. The photo boards typically taken to offsite events have pictures of specific species and people will be asking questions about them so learn all you can before you attend the event.
At onsite events you may be posted at a certain animal, brush up on your facts about that animal before the event.
Species information as well as specific information about each of our animals (when we got them, where they were born, how they got their name, and other interesting facts) is available in the office or online at www.BigCatRescue.org. One of the main reasons Big Cat Rescue does these events is to educate people as much as possible about these animals.
Answering Questions – Volunteers should be prepared to answer questions from event attendees. (Please note: If a question is asked of you which you do not know the answer to, do not guess or make one up. Refer the question to another more knowledgeable volunteer or the Event Coordinator. It is better to say, “I don’t know, let me find someone who does”, than to give out misinformation.
The most frequently asked question when you are at an event is: “Why didn’t you bring a big cat to the event?” You can handle this question in several ways; this is a great opportunity to educate the public on why it is a bad idea for any facility to bring a big cat or any animal to an event. The cats do not like being out in public, they are more comfortable in their own territory. They feel safer and happier staying in their large enclosure with trees and grass at Big Cat Rescue than spending the day in a small travel cage. These cats are dangerous wild animals and it is not safe for them to be out with the public. It presents a public safety hazard to have the cats at an event. It also sends the incorrect message that anyone could safely handle and own a big cat. Animals that are used for photo opportunities are typically exploited by having to perform all the time with no time off. They are often drugged or malnourished to make them easier to handle. Rescues exist because these animals are often dumped once they are too big or will no longer perform.
Preparation and Clean-up – There is a lot of work to be done before and after an event to prevent any problems from occurring. Any educational materials or gift shop items being used must be packed and unpacked for off-site events. Please be careful with the items taken to events. Items such as display boards, banners, tents, etc are costly to replace and should have a long life when handled with care. Volunteers are needed to handle these duties before and after every event.
QUALIFIED TEACHERS FOR THIS CLASS ARE:
Dennis.Mitchell@BigCatRescue.org, Edith.Parker@BigCatRescue.org, Jennifer.Leon@BigCatRescue.org, Jennifer.Ruszczyk@BigCatRescue.org, Karma.Hurworth@BigCatRescue.org,
Lynda.Licht@BigCatRescue.org, Matt.Ruszczyk@BigCatRescue.org, Meredith.Pennino@BigCatRescue.org, Sue.Messineo@BigCatRescue.org, Sue.Reed@BigCatRescue.org
QUIZ AT LINK