The Preece Family
The Preece family are Cheetah Experience’s biggest sponsor. They have undertaken a lifelong adoption of our cheetah Gabriel. They also funded part of Riana’s chemotherapy treatment.
They also donated the following to us after the brutal murder of Chris Preece, a keen conservationist and a man with a very good heart:
A Fiat tractor
An attaching weed cutter
An automatic Isuzu bakkie
4 bunk beds and ladders
2 sleeper couches
2 bedside lockers and headboard
A cylinder vacuum cleaner
A branch shredder
A large solar cooker
A solar heater
A welding set
Construction stand lights
A tri-truck trolley
A high-pressure washer
A precision drill stand
Tubs of nails and screws
A wooden chest
Tins of paint
Cheetah Experience would like to say a very special thank you to the friends and family of Simon Alexander. Simon recently passed away and to honor his memory and his love and fascination for animals his family decided to invite his friends/family to donate to Cheetah Experience in Simon’s name.
Simon may have left this world in body, but his essence will continue to circulate the Earth. Simon’s family have decided that charitable acts of kindness would be the best way to keep his spirit alive and to honour who he really was.
Although Simon had never himself visited Cheetah Experience his lifelong friend Gemma Jordan had volunteered in 2013, on return to Australia Simon had asked about her time and experience and enjoyed looking through photos and hearing all the different stories.
The donations received went towards our new leopard enclosure for Shrek and Fiona, and as a way to honor Simon’s memory we named the new enclosure “Simon’s Sanctuary”.
Carina Staander first became involved with Cheetah Experience in 2013, after popping by to see what had become of her family farm which was originally called Xeros.
Carina’s grandfather purchased the land where Cheetah Experience now stands in 1933. He was a dairy farmer and raised his children on the land. Carina’s father also farmed the family land and used to plant crops in the fields where the lion and cheetah camps are now. The curio shop was originally a milking parlour and later converted into a tractor and agricultural repair workshop.
Carina grew up on the farm, and spent a lot of time with her father hunting and working on the land. As she grew older her love of nature meant that she soon wanted to catch wildlife on camera rather than hunting. Her love of wildlife photography grew with particular interest in wild cats. After school Carina qualified as a photographer and wanted to follow her dreams of helping with conservation.
In 2004 the family farm was sold, Carina met her husband and they soon had a little boy, and her dreams were left behind, for a while..
In 2013, Carina was in the area and wanted to see what had become of the farm she grew up on and was overjoyed to see that it had become Cheetah Experience. She was so happy that her family farm had become something so close to her heart. The passion for conservation and wild cats was rekindled, and Carina tries to be as much a part of Cheetah Experience as time allows.
Since becoming involved with Cheetah Experience Carina and her family have adopted several of our special cats and love to come and visit them, they also donate straw for our animals bedding, as well as assisting in any fundraising ventures we have.
Kenneth von Rausch
Corporate employment has its moments – good and bad.
But it doesn’t permit much opportunity to give – simply and without expectation of something in return.
It was June 2008 and my girlfriend, Joanne, and I had just finished a 1 year trip through Africa in a Landrover. To be frank, we felt like walking ATMs.
So many human issues. So many outstretched hands and open mouths. So much evidence of charity money going to waste and being abused.
So, it was with no small cynicism that I listened to yet another story of a woman who wanted to set up a sanctuary for cheetah. Riana had a vision and she had a dream, but she was just another story to me.
At the time, I was staying with my good friends, Richard and Shannon. They knew her and with a small amount of convincing I changed my flight to Australia and joined a small group of people organizing an auction to raise funds.
Within days, we had 180 people paid up, with loads of auction prizes and a fantastic marquis in the Cheetah enclosure. The evening, supported by rugby players, TV celebrities and amazing local businesses was a roaring success.
I left for Australia with a new passion and belief in people and dreams and a personal desire to help where I could.
Over the last 4 years, I have raised just on R150 000 from business in Australia, for the sanctuary and coordinated skilled volunteers for the program, from Australia.
It is never been easy – no one hands out money to strangers and to many Cheetah Experience is just another empty mouth expecting to be fed.
But it is not this. It is an amazing place – where dreams can be dreamed and realized. Where it is not about the people but about the wildlife and where promises are made and kept.
Recently my son, having heard about the sanctuary from me, drew and printed Christmas cards and with the help of friends, sold the cards, donating the money (R1 000) through an adoption of Apollo.
I know that the next year will see the realization of many milestones for Cheetah Experience staff and animals and my son and I urge you to contact either the sanctuary (via www.cheetahexperience.com) or me (firstname.lastname@example.org) to donate as you can or find out more about how your dreams can come true.
As with everything at the sanctuary, we will always lead by example and I have set myself, a personal goal to raise $15 000 in the next 12 months.
I hope you join my son and I, in your willingness to give – simply and without expectation of something in return.
In reality, you will get more than you ever expect. Much more.