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Salvation Army red kettles get big fundraising boost from "Tinker"

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WEST BEND, WI (WTAQ) - A small horse is a big fundraiser for the Salvation Army.

Major Roger Ross says people line up to put donations in the Red Kettle whenever Tinker the miniature horse does the bell-ringing. He holds the bell with his mouth – and after a donor puts money in the kettle, the horse’s mouth lifts up a sign that reads “Thank you – Merry Christmas.”

Ross says Tinker and his owners – the Takacs family of West Bend – have been known to bring in $2,500 in donations for about two hours of bell-ringing. That’s 10 times the average contributions at a normal kettle.

Tinker is 13-years old, and the horse has been ringing the Salvation Army bells for the last 4 years.

The Takacs family acquired the horse a dozen years ago. Carol Takacs said the miniature horse was already named Tinker when the family obtained the horse – and he could not have a more appropriate name.

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