Introducing Mr. and Mrs. Digory Donkey
It was the 'Wedding of the Century'.
More than 300 people gathered under the glowing white tent on the farm. Outside, the south Florida sun shone brightly.
The groom, dressed in a custom black tuxedo, made his way down the aisle and stood nervously at the front. Bridesmaids and groomsmen soon followed, as television crews filmed every move. When the crowd saw the ring bearer, a pot-bellied pig with a pillow harnessed on its back, laughter erupted.
Then, Duchess approached. Dressed in a vintage wedding gown, veil and garter, she began her walk down the aisle, to meet Digory, her groom.
As the vice mayor of Coconut Creek began the ceremony uniting the two donkeys, Abby Mosher, Tomorrow's Rainbow Executive Director, surveyed the scene with pride.
For her, this wedding was seven years in the making. In 2000, Abby and her son survived a head-on collision that killed her husband. When her search for a grief support program for her son turned up empty, the idea for Tomorrow's Rainbow was born.
The farm opened in 2005, offering grief support activities that include:
- miniature horse interactions and grooming
- facilitated group sessions
- therapeutic play areas including sidewalk chalk, a puppet theater, water table, memorial garden and a sandbox
Equine Assisted Learning activities (disguised as horse games) are experiential activities that are offered to help children with self-confidence, problem-solving, leadership and teamwork. The entire program is offered free of charge.
"Some children come one time and that's enough when they feel they're not alone," Mosher said. "Other children have been with us since we opened our doors. Typically, children will spend three to six months with us."
After the 'wedding of the century,' Mr. and Mrs. Digory Donkey snacked on wedding cake and Tomorrow's Rainbow volunteers made their way around the farm. Each volunteer was easily identifiable in a heather gray t-shirt, complete with the Tomorrow's Rainbow logo, a 'wedding gift' of sorts from 4imprint's one by oneSM program.
Like Duchess and Digory's 'romance,' the t-shirts continue to bring good things to Tomorrow's Rainbow.
"Anytime we are in public with the t-shirts, the Tomorrow's Rainbow name and logo are visible and that helps bring our organization to the forefront," Mosher said. "It opens a dialog for us to let people know we're out there and what we do. The name recognition has been incredible in helping us make sure grieving children are no longer ignored."
And, that means Duchess and Digory aren't the only ones living happily ever after.