17 July, 2019

Generations Of Tractor Drivers Trek In Support Of Mental Health

19 year old Theresa and 17 year old Thomas Penner of Reinland are the next generation of vintage tractor enthusiasts.

Siblings Thomas and Theresa Penner of Reinland are owners and drivers of vintage tractors, and wanted to show their support for those on a mental health journey by taking part in the 12th annual Visit the Villages Tractor Trek in support of Eden Foundation Saturday.

“It’s a really good cause to raise funds for that, to support mental health. It’s really important to put it out there and driving around supports it and brings mental health awareness,” says Theresa.

Theresa drives a Case VAI which she got from her uncle, and has been working with him on restoring it. Thomas drives a 1949 John Deere Model E which was his grandfather’s, and has been interested in vintage tractors his whole life. “Growing up, I always had old tractors; always drove them and just kind of knew them.”

The siblings often take part in friendly competition, racing their tractors.

“I always joke that his John Deere isn’t going to make it, and I’m going to have to tow him,” says Theresa.

Winkler’s John Hiebert participated in his third Tractor Trek with this 1951 Farmall

During the day 45 trekkers drove through villages and towns throughout Southern Manitoba along “Old Post Road”, starting in Reinland and visiting 26 locations within a 40-mile radius including Osterwick, Neuenburg, Stanley Park and more.

Kym Kaufman, C.E.O. Eden Health Care Services, says it was amazing to see people of all ages come together united behind Eden’s common cause of helping individuals with mental health concerns on their journey.

Thanks to high engagement last year, Eden was able to complete numerous projects:

  • Provide Segue with improved resources to help people identify their strengths and find employment;
  • Provide our IT department with a new server to simplify system management and shift to more cloud-based technology.  It means that everyone who needs information can get at it and at the same time improves data security;
  • Provide resources to refurbish another three units at Enns Courts;
  • Provide resources to re-shingle the second building at Wilson Courts;
  • Provide resources to put in power-assist doors at Eden Mental Health Centre;
  • Provide resources to replace the 50-year-old sidewalks at Eden Mental Health Centre;
  • Provide resources to update the Recovery of Hopecounselling office in Steinbach.

According to Eden, these projects would not be possible without community support, and wouldn’t happen if they waited for government support.

Final numbers regarding how much money was raised are still being tallied.

There were 45 tractors registered for the 12th Visit the Villages Tractor Trek.

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