“We make smiles,” was the comment of one tractor driver in the second-annual Eden Foundation Tractor Trek on July 25. Forty tractors, 40 years and older, travelled 40 kilometres through six 130-year-old Mennonite villages in southern Manitoba, and all along the route, people lined up to see the parade of antique tractors.
After a breakfast in Reinland, Manitoba, the drivers moved through the villages of Schoenweise and Gnadenthal stopping at the Blumengart Hutterite Colony for lunch.
They continued on through the village of Friedensruh and stopped in Neuenburg for a race to determine the slowest tractor without the use of a brake or clutch. A 1957 Massey-Harris 444 was the winner.
Then it was back to Reinland for supper and prizes for the nicest restored tractor, (a 730 John Deere), as well as prizes for the youngest, (Ryan Braun– 15), and oldest (John L. Friesen– 85), drivers.
Linda Driedger, event co-ordinator, noted that “over $40,000 was raised for Eden Health Care Services,” an organization that operates a hospital in Winkler, affordable housing units in Winkler and Steinbach, supported employment, as well as providing counselling and social services for people with mental health concerns.
Next year’s Tractor Trek will be held July 17, and more entries for tractors are encouraged.
For more information contact: Armin Ens, chair, Eden Foundation, 204-325-6227 or James Friesen, Eden CEO, 204-325-5355.