A bank is not normally a place you would see aquatic creatures, but today was no ordinary day at Hancock Whitney in Gulfport.
News 25’s Gabby Easterwood was there to see two penguins visiting the bank to promote the growth of the Mississippi Aquarium.
The Mississippi Aquarium is making strides towards opening in late 2019 slowly but surely. Penguins Wahoo and Mack came all the way from the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in Ohio to lend a helping flipper. Mississippi Aquarium President David Kimmel said, “These penguins are part of our outreach. These are our ambassadors out there.”
Children of all ages got up close and personal with these endangered African penguins who waddled their way down the blue carpet like true celebrities.
Wahoo and Mack are just a preview to the vast benefits and education the aquarium is going to bring to the Coast. “One of our founding principles of the aquarium of our three pillars is education and so there’s such a richness in Gulfport and in this state. Let’s educate our children, educate them about that we do have the Gulf of Mexico on the south end of Gulfport, that the state does border on there and all the wonders of the Gulf,” said Kimmel.
The penguin visit was an outreach to the community, but also a preview to Splash Bash, the first major fundraising event, asking for the public’s help in financing the aquarium. The main sponsor of Splash Bash is Hancock Whitney Bank. They feel it’s important as a business to support its growing community. Hancock Whitney CEO John Hairston said, “We view it as part of protecting the environment, contributing back to the Gulf which has created such a good way of life for us here on the Coast and also to have a place for our families to enjoy.”