Tractor Relay Across Nebraska plans stop in Wallace
By Karen Ortner
About 30 antique tractors will be leaving from Holyoke, Colorado on Saturday, June 3 to begin a 476-mile relay across Nebraska over a nine-day span, all for the sake of raising funds for Operation Comfort Warriors.
Much of the group will already be in Holyoke on Friday, participating in a parade at 7 p.m. Saturday’s journey will start with a 7:45 a.m. breakfast at the Vets’ Club, before leaving for a 67-mile trek to Wallace at 8:30 a.m. The group will head east on Highway 6, north on County Road 41 and then east into Nebraska on Highway 23.
They will stop at Kent and Judy Hilferty’s place in Madrid at 2 p.m., where the Hilfertys will be hosting a tractor show and ice cream from 1-5 p.m. for the public. Directions: 1.5 miles west of Madrid on Highway 23 to Road 336, then 1.5 miles north.
The cross-state relay itself is an annual event sponsored by the Nebraska Antique Farming Association. A different route is taken each year, and those participating preregistered to drive their tractors along for just one or two legs of the journey or for the whole trip.
The legs of this year’s route range anywhere from 22 to 83 miles, ending in Plattsmouth.
In Lincoln, a special parade will take place in honor of Nebraska’s 150th birthday, with 180 tractors registered to circle the Nebraska Capitol.
Donelle Moormeier, tractor relay coordinator, has driven the full length of every single parade since the very first in 2012, and can testify to the importance of being prepared. She said she has ridden in shorts and also in rain gear in 45-mph winds.
The parade is a journey with a cause, however, with 100 percent of proceeds going to Operation Comfort Warrior. Moormeier said NAFA chose that particular veteran-focused organization because of its lack of administrative fees, assuring donors that all funds are going directly to the purchase of comfort items for wounded, injured or ill military personnel.
These items include things not normally supplied by the government, such as sweat suits, DVDs, puzzles, electronic devices, books and calling cards, or even larger items like ping pong tables, kayaks or other recreational goods.
Donations will be collected along the way. Checks made out to NAFA or directly to Operation Comfort Warriors can also be mailed to NAFA at P.O. Box 212, Curtis, NE, 69025, or donate online at antiquefarming.org by following the Operation Comfort Warriors link.