No More Empty Fortune Cookies!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Couple Donates Wedding to Save Pets

Yesterday my friend Carol, over at Brown Dog Foundation, emailed me about something fantastic that happened for Brown Dog and I just had to share it. 
I've told you about Brown Dog Foundation before, but in case you missed it or forgot or whatever, let me remind you about this wonderful organization. Brown Dog Foundation is a not for profit that offers assistance to families who are in a temporary financial crisis and who need help providing life-saving treatment or medications for their pet. To date, Brown Dog has provided over $250,000 to save the lives of 204 family pets. 
That said, this beautiful couple, Cynthia Cereceres and Adam Bickell got married on October 13th. 

Instead of bringing wedding gifts, they asked friends and family to donate to Brown Dog Foundation. How wonderful is that? 
Brown Dog is run off of donations from kind and generous people like Cynthia and Adam. Every dollar they receive is paramount in the quest to help save the life of a beloved family pet. Won't you consider helping Brown Dog? Even if you can't afford to donate money or time, you can share this story and help spread the word to others. If you would like to donate to Brown Dog, go to and click on the Donate link at the top of the page. To see other ways you can help Brown Dog, click on "Support Us". 
Brown Dog Foundation is also on Facebook and Twitter and you can catch up with them at their Blog, too. 

Here's the press release on the story: 


Brentwood/Nashville, Tennessee (October 15, 2012) –  Saturday, October 13th the marriage of Cynthia Cereceres and Adam Bickell enjoyed the gorgeous setting of Vanderbilt Dyer Observatory.  And, instead of bringing gifts for the happy couple, their 115 friends and family donated generously to Nashville-based charity, Brown Dog Foundation.  Every four hours Brown Dog Foundation receives a request from a family facing the agonizing decision of unnecessarily euthanizing their family pet because they lack the cash or credit line to cover the cost of veterinary care.  This equates to more than 2,400 requests for assistance each year.  While the Foundation continues to assist one family each week, their efforts only scratch the surface of this massive need. 

Since late 2011, the Foundation has received several phone calls from “Brides to Be” offering to request their friends and families donate to the Foundation rather than bring wedding gifts.  “As women choose to get married later in life, the need for traditional wedding gifts is diminished.  Asking friends and family to support a cause near and dear to their heart gives them a way to turn their wedding night memory into a lifetime gift for someone in need,” explains Carol Smock, Founder of Brown Dog Foundation. 

This was exactly the case for Cynthia Cereceres and Adam Bickell of Nashville.  Adam became aware of Brown Dog Foundation in 2009, when a team of runners raised $20,000 for the Foundation by participating in the 30th Anniversary Dublin Ireland Marathon.  He had just begun dating Cynthia at that time and shared his experience in learning about the Foundation.  Cynthia felt an immediate connection. 

A few years later, the couple became engaged and adopted their first dog together from the Nashville Humane Association, a pug they named BrooklynBrooklyn was named in honor of a trip the couple took to New York City just before finding him.  Very quickly Brooklyn took over their lives…  catering to his every need and desire!  Cynthia and Adam are blessed with the financial stability of providing for all medical needs Brooklyn may experience, but they also know that the “bottom can fall out” for just about anyone unexpectedly. 

Cynthia and Adam contacted Brown Dog Foundation in November to tell them of their desire to dedicate their wedding to the Foundation.  In December, the couple attended the “Holiday Howler” event presented by Show Dog – Universal and featuring up and coming country artist, JT Hodges.  The Foundation’s photographer, Katie Sutherland, had donated a Wedding Photo Package to the event as a silent auction item.  The couple purchased the package, further solidifying their devotion to the organization and its mission.

Over the past six years, Brown Dog Foundation has allocated more than $250,000 (60% of overall revenues) to save the lives of 204 family pets from across the nation.  The total need nationwide exceeds 4 million dollars each year.  The expectation is that the need will grow as the Foundation builds its brand and presence.  Brown Dog Foundation operates solely by donations of the general public. 

Brown Dog Foundation, 501(c)(3) non-profit founded in October, 2006, offers assistance to families in temporary financial crisis an alternative to euthanizing their family pet when life-saving treatment or life-sustaining medication is necessary.  Brown Dog Foundation, Inc. serves the entire country, with a sizable concentration of assistance occurring in Middle and East Tennessee communities.  The organization helps families who are working class or higher income, but have experienced an unexpected catastrophe (job loss, unexpected and major medical bills, etc.) at the same time that their pet requires life-saving treatment or life-sustaining medications.  The goal is to give these families, who don’t qualify for public or government assistance in any other aspect of their lives, the ability to use their limited resources to focus on what they need to do to get their life back on track.  The family pays at least 25% of the cost of the veterinary care or medication needed, the veterinary clinic usually discounts 10-25% and the Foundation pays the balance.   

Founded by Carol A. Smock and six other women, the organization was started from nothing and has grown into a thriving community program.  With an average of 30 volunteers each year, the organization spends its time raising money so when a family needs help, they can respond.  Currently, the Foundation is providing assistance to one family each week.  “All total we’ve helped more than 205 families across the country, 150 of whom live in Tennessee, with the cost of prescription medications, acute and chronic treatments and surgeries– anything that ensures the pet will enjoy a good quality of life.  In each circumstance, we’ve given the family the peace of mind they need to focus on what’s most important in their life – getting through their crisis,” explains Smock.  “We love to help dogs and cats, but the true reward comes when we get a call from the family telling us that their lives and finances are back on track because of the generosity of our donors!” 

The current Board of Directors are Carol A. Smock, Board Chair; Kelly Hunt, Secretary; and Dallon Christensen, Treasurer.  Donations are accepted online or by mailing a check to Brown Dog Foundation, 3715 Brighton Road, Nashville, TN 37205.  For more information, visit the website at