UPDATE: Hank the Horse donates $5,000 check in NYC for Salvation Army’s National Red Kettle Campaign

ABC 36's Erica Bivens traveled exclusively with the nonprofit team For Hank's Sake

UPDATE 11/30/22 – Kentucky’s Hank the Horse is now resting and relaxing after his 3-day voyage to Pennsylvania and New York City for the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle campaign. ABC 36’s Erica Bivens traveled exclusively with the nonprofit team For Hank’s Sake and has a lookback at the historic journey for the rescue horse.

“I definitely feel like a kid at Christmas,” said Tammi Regan, owner of Hank.

Sunday morning, Hank the Horse and the For Hank’s Sake crew hit the road leaving the Paris farm for a historic journey to New York City for the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle campaign.

A trip years in the making, the voyage included a stop in Doylestown, Pennsylvania where owner Tammi Regan lived until moving to Kentucky in 2018.

“To be going back to Hank and I’s former hometown I could barely sleep last night,” said Regan.

The roughly 12 hour trip included several checks on Hank who seemed quite content. The team eventually settling in Hank at Peace Valley Equestrian Center around 10 p.m. while his humans got some shuteye at the Doylestown Inn.

Monday morning, Hank hosted his first meet and greet of the day with around 70 children giving out horsey handshakes and posing for selfies.

“We have horses that come to camp but they are not nearly that big, nor do they wear costumes,” said chaperone Rhea Lowenthal.

David Lenett added, “Oh it was great, it was a cold blustery day but it was certainly worth it to get a look at Hank the Horse.”

Hank’s visit even brought one woman to tears.

The second visit of the day quickly turning to smiles in downtown Doylestown and inside city hall.

For some it was their first time meeting the Tennessee Walker.

For others it was a reunion.

“I was with her when Hank came to Pennsylvania,” said Jim Salanik. While Salanik says both Regan and Hank were inexperienced, their growth over the years has been remarkable.

“It’s night and day. He was very wild, very unpredictable and at his weight I think he’s at 1,700 pounds very hard to control you know. But Tammi stuck with it I think other people may have given up on him a long time ago but she stuck with him and it’s great to see today how far they’ve both come,” said Salanik.

“We struggled in our first years, Hank and I did, because he really was not trained. I knew nothing about training a horse,” said Regan.

Regan says she’s proud of how far she and Hank have come in their training in the last 14 years.

“My friends from here and they knew us in our early years, and you know they just stood back and giggled a little bit saying things such as ‘uh 10 years ago, Hank would not have been able to do that,” shared Regan. “He’s a perfect gentlemen is what one of my friends said who knew us in our very first days together.”

The end to a bittersweet day quickly turned into history Tuesday morning with Hank’s arrival in NYC.

“So much excitement for a dream coming true. It really does feel surreal even though it’s so real,” said Regan.

And there was another reunion, a Salvation Army commissioner Regan used to work for.

“Tammi worked for my wife and I at our Salvation Army summer camp in Pennsylvania,” said Commissioner William Bamford.

Jingle belling thru the city, Hank got a lot of attention as a horse just walking down the sidewalk in Times Square.

“This is unbelievable,” said Jim Takleszyn, a former employee of Regan’s. “To see it actually happening four to five years later is just unbelievable to me.”

Standing 17 hands high, with his larger than life personality, it’s only fitting that Hank brought a giant sized check of $5,000 for the giant red kettle. It was the first donation to the giant red kettle honoring a long rich history for Regan’s family.

“My grandmother was in the Salvation Army, my dad was in the Salvation Army, I grew up in the Salvation Army,” shared Regan.

And Tuesday’s fanfare also brought some of Hank’s biggest fans from Kentucky to the Big Apple.

“I got to meet Hank last year on Giving Tuesday. I love following his journey on the way here, he’s so calm around all of the people, all of the noises, he’s just living his best life,” said Sarah Burton, who lives in Lexington.

Hank and Regan’s accomplishment wasn’t lost in the excitement.

“I know my dad is fist pumping from heaven,” said Regan. “If he were standing here beside me, he would be doing the same thing and he would say, you’ve done good Tammi Jo I’m so proud.”

It’s also a proud moment for Jensen Sullivan who works for Regan.

“Ten months ago she invited me into this dream with Hank and New York when we got the news he would be coming. So to be here with her I feel an overwhelming sense of pride for her, she’s worked tremendously hard with Hank, they’ve been an incredible inspiration to me throughout the years,” said Sullivan.

A humble but historic journey for the former abused, neglected horse turned ambassador for good will as Hank continues his mission to help others.

In the meantime, this charitable horse hopes you can find it in your heart to give back this holiday season.

The $5,000 donation Hank brought came from David and Ruth Waronker with BraveHearts Equine Center.

You can still donate to Hank’s virtual red kettle HERE. 

Hank’s national red kettle link to donate can be found HERE.

UPDATE 11/29/22 – On Giving Tuesday, Kentucky’s Hank the horse spent the morning in New York City for the Salvation Army’s giant red kettle campaign. And he didn’t go empty handed. ABC 36’s Erica Bivens traveled exclusively with the nonprofit For Hank’s Sake.

From Kentucky to New York, Hank the Horse is doing some big things. Standing 17 hands high, with his larger than life personality, it’s only fitting he brought a giant size check of $5,000 for the giant red kettle. His owner Tammi Regan says it’s a dream come true.
“I know my dad is fist pumping from heaven and if he was standing right here beside me he would be doing the same thing and he would say you’ve done good Tammi Jo, I’m so proud,” said Regan.
Jim Takleszyn, a former employee with For Hank’s Sake says, “This is truly a dream come true, I know for myself and for Tammi. Tammi and I have spent hours and hours talking in the barn and by campfires about doing this and what it would mean for her, what it would mean for Hank, and just to be part of the Salvation Army. So to see it actually happening four to five years later is just unbelievable.”
And for some of Hank’s biggest fans from Kentucky, seeing Hank in NYC was a must see.
“So I got to meet Hank last year on Giving Tuesday downtown at the Good Giving Challenge kickoff party and started following him on social media,” said Sarah Burton who lives in Lexington. “Just happened to see on Sunday that he was going to be at Times Square and it was my first trip to New York so I thought it was perfect to stop by and see Hank while I was here.”
Back home in Kentucky, Hank has several bell ringing adventures lined up in the next few weeks for the Salvation Army. In the meantime, the charitable horse hopes you’ll find it in your heart to give this holiday season.
You can donate to Hank’s virtual red kettle HERE. 
Hank’s national red kettle link to donate can be found HERE.

UPDATE 11/27/22 – Kentucky’s Hank the Horse heads to Times Square in New York City in support of the Salvation Army’s National Red Kettle Campaign.

Along the way, Hank will be hosted for two nights in Doylestown, Bucks County. On Monday, November 28, the farm where Hank will be staying is hosting a meet and greet and storytime for children from Windmill Day School & Camp (windmilldaycamp.com). Additionally, Hank will attend a community event in Doylestown Borough that afternoon. Hank’s Mom Tammi had previously spent a significant amount of time working in the Philadelphia area before rescuing Hank and launching For Hank’s Sake.

ABC 36’s Erica Bives will accompany Hank and his team to NYC for a behind the scenes look at the journey. You can follow her HERE.

Hank will then arrive in Times Square on Tuesday, November 29 at 5am to officially kick off Giving Tuesday and support the Salvation Army’s fundraising efforts throughout the day. Additionally, Hank and Tammi will be presenting a donation to the Salvation Army on behalf of their army of friends and supporters in Kentucky.

Hank’s mom Tammi Regan rescued Hank more than ten years ago. She grew up as part of the Salvation Army and rang the bell as a little girl. She says this trip is special.

“It feel good to be his mom. I’m proud of Hank and the work he’s been able to do. I’m proud of his comeback. Hank is the champion of second chances. So going to the Salvation Army, helping them, this organization is also champions for second chances, as well,” says Regan.

Hank will return to Kentucky on Wednesday, November 30 and will be ringing the bell with the Lexington Salvation Army at Fayette Mall on Saturday, Dec. 10 from 10 a.m. until 12 p.m. Hank has been volunteering with the Salvation Army since 2018.

For Hank’s Sake, a central Kentucky nonprofit organization, uses horses and equine related learning activities to bring love, hope, and healing to vulnerable populations. They are on a mission to empower communities for a brighter future. One of For Hank’s Sake’s primary initiatives is their Pages for a Purpose Literacy Excellence Program which encourages kids of all ages to achieve literacy excellence through horses and equine related learning activities. Watch more HERE.

For more information on For Hank’s Sake, visit www.forhankssake.org and on social media at @forhankssake.

To find out how you can help donate, click here.

10/19/22 PARIS, Ky. (WTVQ) – Kentucky’s Hank the Horse is going to New York City to ring the bell this holiday season for the Salvation Army.

Hank’s owner Tammi Regan shared the excitement with ABC 36 Wednesday afternoon when the news broke saying, “To say that this is one of my proudest moments is an understatement. I consider this endeavor with Hank and The Salvation Army to be one of the greatest accomplishments of my life. To be able to honor my Dad in this way helps heal my still grieving heart. Victorious days like today, I cherish that I can celebrate his memory, his legacy, and the treasure of my Dad’s unconditional love and support.”

Hank is the namesake for the nonprofit For Hank’s Sake. Regan says the announcement shows Hank’s impact on others, “Hank constantly proves just how much is possible when the human spirit and the spirit of the horse come together. Rescued horses like Hank are here to teach us that unloved doesn’t mean incapable of loving. They prove time and time again that we can overcome… we can rise again… we can learn…and we can heal.”

Regan says details on Hank’s trip are still being finalized.

Don’t forget, Hank still needs your vote in America’s Favorite Pet Contest. The deadline to vote is Oct. 20th at 10 p.m. EST. Hank is in the semi-finals and hopes to advance to the final eight.

The winner will earn $10,000 and have a two-page feature in InTouch Weekly Magazine.

You can vote for Hank HERE. Additional information on Hank’s background can be found HERE.

 

Categories: Featured, Local News, News, State News