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Henry the Lion/Handler Requests

Thank you so much for reaching out and considering Henry the Lion for your event!

Who is Henry the lion and what does he do?
Our Henrys come curtesy of our wonderful volunteers who dedicate their time and energy to bringing HVZ to life at both on and off site events. They range in age from 16 through 85, and come from a variety of backgrounds. Volunteer Henrys are those who have already volunteered in another guest-facing role at HVZ, and who have gone through training and practice in the costume for on-site events. Henry gives plenty of high-fives and hugs. He poses for photos and asks kids to give him their best lion roar!

Who is the Handler and what do they do?
Our Handlers are also volunteers who offer physical support (it’s hard to get peripheral vision in that costume). They also serve as interpreters for Henry and your guests. Ex. “Can you roar like Henry? Wow! I think you surprised even him!” Our Handlers are also seasoned volunteers who receive training in guest interaction, interpretation and empathy-building.

What can a Henry team do for me?
– Attract guests to a public event/activity
– Get kids and families excited and engaged
– Provide fun memories for your guests
– Fun photo ops for guests and staff during your event

What can’t a Henry team do?
– Henry does not appear at private, off-site events (ex. birthday parties, weddings, etc.)
– Henry does not do appearances outside of Dane County
– Henry can’t come outside in precipitation, in muddy/icy/wet ground conditions, or in temperatures exceeding 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
– Henry can’t talk (except for the occasional roar, he’s very shy)
– Henry teams do not bring or hold live animals. If you are interested in having animals at your event, please see our Zoo to You page here.

Does turning in a request form guarantee Henry will be at my event?
While we can’t guarantee placement, there are a few ways you can help increase the likelihood of getting a Henry at your event:
– Request at least 1-2 months ahead of time so we have time to recruit volunteers
– Have the essentials set up: a point person and a secure place for Henry to change and keep his things

Why do you have a limit of 1hr in costume?
Anyone who has been inside a mascot costume of any kind will tell you that it gets HOT! Our first priority is to our volunteers and their health. And we want to ensure you have a healthy, happy Henry team to make your event special.

Henry Requests

Before you start:

First, your information


Second, information about your event

MM slash DD slash YYYY
MM slash DD slash YYYY
Please enter the 2-hr time frame you’d like Henry for your event (Henry will try to be in costume at least 1hr, with some of the time spent getting ready/ending. The heat index on the day of your event will affect this.)
Where will Henry/Handler be able to get ready and securely store any personal belongings during their time?
If you will not be the point person, who will be the point of contact for our volunteers the day of the event?