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Tractor ride kicks off Threshers' Reunion, proceeds will help frail aging population
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Tractor ride kicks off Threshers' Reunion, proceeds will help frail aging population

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LEXINGTON — Tractors aren’t just for plowing fields and harvesting crops.

In June, tractors are for having fun and raising money for a local nonprofit in the annual Tractor Ride, which is a precursor to the annual Southeast Old Threshers’ Reunion at the Denton FarmPark.

The 10th annual Tractor Ride will take place June 30 at the FarmPark with proceeds being donated to the North Carolina Baptist Aging Ministry (NCBAM). The group will use 100 percent of the funds to complete safety projects for frail older adults in need, said Dr. Sandy Gregory, director of NCBAM, which is based on the Baptist Children’s Homes of North Carolina campus in Thomasville.

“We are thrilled to be chosen as the recipient of the fundraiser this year,” he said. “Lumber costs have skyrocketed, and this will help us get many more wheelchair ramps built for frail seniors in need. We have clients who haven’t left their homes in months and sometimes years, simply because of no safe way to traverse the steps of their homes.”

This tractor shakes orange trees as part of annual orange pick-up campaign in Valencia, Spain.

Gates for the Tractor Ride will open at 7:30 a.m. June 30 for registration. You can also go to the Denton FarmPark’s website and download a form to fill out and mail in with the $25 entry fee in advance.

The tractor parade (and a tram) then pull out for a 19-mile tour of the Denton countryside. A highlight is parading through the Mountain Vista Health Park where residents of the skilled nursing facility are brought outside to wave at the drivers and riders. The parade then pauses at the First Baptist Church of Denton for a barbecue lunch served by volunteers before heading back to the FarmPark.

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Participating in the Tractor Ride costs $25 per person ($35 tram) and includes lunch, a t-shirt and a goody bag of SWAG and other treats from local supporters.

Tim Loflin, the organizer of the Tractor Ride, said raising money and providing family entertainment has long been a tradition of the Threshers’ Reunion. Brown Loflin, who began the Threshers’ Reunion from an earlier event he held called a Fly-In, raised money for the Denton unit of the Davidson County Rescue Squad. The Fly-In attracted people to the FarmPark for a plane ride. While they waited, Loflin had antique farm equipment in the field for participants to view.

“The FarmPark has always given back to the community,” he said.

The first year of the Tractor Ride cost only $20 but did not include a fundraiser. Several of the participants asked if the entry fee could be raised to $25 with the extra $5 going to a local nonprofit, Loflin explained.

Special Olympics of Davidson County was the first beneficiary of about $800. The Tractor Pull has raised as much as $18,000 for other charities. A new charity is chosen as the beneficiary each year.

Even if you don’t have a tractor to ride you can still participate and receive a T-shirt by being a “ghost rider.” Fill out the form on the FarmPark website for the Tractor Ride and mail in a $25 check. The FarmPark staff will mail you a t-shirt.

The 51st Southeast Old Threshers reunion will take place July 1-5 at the FarmPark. A story about the Threshers’ Reunion and all the details will publish later on The Dispatch and The Courier-Tribune websites later.

In addition, NCBAM will also receive the proceeds from the Live Auction held at 6 p.m. July 1 during the Threshers’ Reunion. The auction, held at the music hall, will feature a handcrafted Noah’s Ark with animals, a vacation timeshare, local pottery, tickets to local attractions and an Anel Complete Insulated Beehive kit.

Jill Doss-Raines is The Dispatch trending topics and personality profiles senior reporter.

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