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Iowa man's tractor ride helps hospitalized children

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Iowa man's tractor ride helps hospitalized children
Iowa man's tractor ride helps hospitalized children

One man from Goodell, Iowa, plans to drive his father's vintage John Deere tractor across the state in the name of Blank Children's Hospital in an attempt to raise funds for the community healthcare center, the Belmond News reports.

According to the news source, the idea came to Dick Barkema after speaking with his friend, country singer Tom Wurth, about doing a charity event somewhere in Iowa.

"We started talking about doing a fundraiser, and we wanted to focus on raising money to help children," Barkema explained. After touring Blank Children's and learning about the hospital's impressive record, the two decided to make the long journey on the old tractor.

"Of all the babies they had in the neonatal intensive care unit last year, they only lost one child," Barkema added.

The long ride will begin on Monday, June 17, 2013, in Onawa, Iowa, and the two will arrive in Dubuque six days later, the media outlet stated.

"We don’t really have any specific goal for the fundraising. We hope we have one heck of a big check to give them," Barkema said of his aspirations.

Barkema's tractor, a John Deere 2010 Diesel, was first produced in 1960, and run until 1965. Fittingly, the machine was produced at a factory in Dubuque, where the duo's journey will come to an end. 

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