Hankin Group ‘Turns a Dream into Reality,’ Begins Work at Nation’s Oldest Nonprofit of Its Kind

shot of Ryerss Farm from above
Image via Hankin Group.
Ryerss Farm.
Hankin Group logo

Hankin Group recently began a renovation project at Ryerss Farm, a popular weekend attraction and the oldest nonprofit of its kind in the nation.

In partnership with Stierly Excavating and the Chester County Conservation District, Ryerss Farm’s land erosion, which has created culverts that are hazardous to the 60 horses onsite, will be repaired over the course of the next few weeks. 

Since 1888, this volunteer-staffed organization has cared for older horses as they live out their golden years in the company of herd mates, who may have seen everything from stellar show careers to abandonment or abuse.

At Ryerss Farm, they all come together as equals who are never asked to do another moment’s work. Instead, the team does it for them.  

“I took riding lessons as a child, but I never learned how to really care for the horses themselves,” said Adrienne Doran, Ryerss Farm volunteer. “Over the past six years volunteering at Ryerss, I have learned about their different personalities, needs, quirks, medications, and their favorite itchy spots. If you listen, they will speak to you. They will touch your soul.” 

It became evident over time that repairs to the land erosion would be a large, costly project that would be a huge undertaking for a nonprofit organization of this kind but would be necessary to maintain the farm and allow the horses a fulfilling life.  

“I made a list of developers active in the area and decided to start with Hankin Group since their headquarters is 11 miles from Ryerss Farm,” said Doran. “As local developers, they have the expertise and community ties.”  

In just a few days, Hankin responded with immediate interest to provide aid. 

A few weeks later, Hankin Group — led by Neal Fisher, Vice President of Development, and Nicholas Hartman, Project Engineer — connected with Josh Stierly, Stierly Excavating; Sam Griffin, President, Ryerss Board of Managers; Tim Blevins, Farm Manager; Amber Slaymaker, Animal Welfare Manager; and Joelle Temoyan, Administrative Manager, to discuss the scope of the project. To address water runoff and soil conservation, Hankin Group also met with the Chester County Conservation District, which offered a generous grant for the scope of work.   

“I can’t thank Bob Hankin enough for turning a dream into reality,” said Doran. “I’ll take credit for making the phone call, but I believe the horses spoke to Bob, and they touched his soul.”

Bob Hankin, CEO of Hankin Group, and COO Michael Hankin lead the initiatives of the Hankin Foundation, the philanthropic arm for Hankin Group. Since the company’s inception more than 60 years ago, the Foundation has helped 100-plus local organizations.

Learn more about Hankin Group.