At 1,400 pounds, Hank is by no means small.
From his striking smile to his big heart, he has a way of spreading joy and inspiring those who meet him.
That was certainly the case on Monday afternoon as people gathered around Broad Commons Park in Doylestown Borough, beaming with smiles, waiting their turn to greet the horse with a gentle pat on its face and a quick selfie.
Plus:‘It’s a Collector’s Dream:’ Sellersville Antique Store to Feature on HISTORY Channel’s Pawn Stars
The visit was a stop along the way for Hank and his team before heading to Times Square in New York City early the next morning to officially kick off Giving Tuesday in support of The Salvation Army.
“Horses have the power to heal, to inspire compassion among people, and that compassion inspires action. We are teaching lessons on how to give and we are happy to be able to travel to do that,” said Tammi Jo Regan, Hank’s mother and owner.
It was a message he learned quickly over a decade ago upon meeting Hank.
Regan was visiting Kentucky, when she found and rescued the abandoned and starving horse Tennessee Walking 11 years ago. He was three years old and weighed only 600 pounds at the time.
“The day I met Hank, alone in a muddy pasture, was the day I became an equestrian,” said Regan, a Doylestown entrepreneur and business consultant with no prior horse experience.
“It took seven months for him to be healthy enough to travel with him to Bucks County,” he said.
For subscribers:What’s next for Fonthill Castle’s ‘Little House in the Woods’? Look inside for the first time in decades
Back home in Doylestown, Regan founded For Hank’s Sake, initially as a corporation, before gaining nonprofit status in 2018. She has since expanded, relocating to Paris, Kentucky, where today it includes more than 80 horses and Hank stands as the brand ambassador.
The organization is committed to rescuing abandoned and unwanted horses, while harnessing their power and beauty to inspire and encourage children.
Hank visits libraries, schools, and charities across the country, bringing happiness to children through books while raising money for charities along the way. Throughout his five years as a public service horse, Hank has raised more than $41,000 for various organizations, including the $25,000 he has contributed as a bell ringer for The Salvation Army.
“To be able to go back to our hometown where it started, we’ve come full circle and it feels really good,” Regan said of the visit to Doylestown. “It has such a distinctive feel here, so what better place to stop while on vacation.”
Hank has been a bell ringer for four years, but this will be his first national appearance and visit to Times Square.
“Our message is really about second chances,” Regan said. “It was an abandoned horse. Many people feel abandoned. The most vulnerable in our nation need our help right now, and Hank is a champion of hope and joy.”
For subscribers:Doylestown welcomes new Whole Foods as Homegoods and Marshalls join Plumsteadville plaza
Plus:Want to support Small Business Saturday? Check out these main streets in Bucks County