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Wildlife Haven Releases Kid’s Book

Trekking Through Time Toews. “We spend about an hour and half there and that gives the drivers some time to visit and some time for people to see the tractors, and to vote for the People’s Choice award.” Toews said that communities like Richer are important to make the event as popular as it has become. “The community can make it as big an event as they wish.” Afternoon coffee will be provided by Penner’s Pumpkins and the drive concludes back at the Mennonite Village Museum. “That is where we hand out the awards and there is always some fun with that. Depending on the weather, we might revive the Dirties Tractor Award, one year that got the driver a car wash kit,” she said.

Family Affair Fifty tractors, at least 50 years old and raising $50,000 for a good cause is the goal of this year’s Tractor Trek that begins at the Steinbach Heritage Village Museum on June 11. It will make its lunch stop in Richer and everyone is invited to check out the tractors.

By Les Kletke Anne Toews describes it as an event that has something for everyone with any interest in antique tractors. “It” is the Tractor Trek that is a joint venture of the Mennonite Village Museum and the Eden Foundation. This year will be the seventh event that raises money for the Eden Mental Health Centre. The past 6 events have attracted tractors from across the southeast and as far away as Saskatchewan.” “It allows the fellows to show off the tractors they have restored and get them out on the road for a drive,” said Toews who Coordinates the event on behalf of the Mennonite Heritage Village (MHV). “The parade itself also allows anyone with an interest in tractors to watch these machines roll by.” The event is restricted to 50 tractors and they

must be able to maintain a speed of 10 miles an hour to minimize the disturbance to normal traffic. “We have what we call the 50-5050 rule,” said Toews. “We restrict it to 50 tractors, and they have to be 50 years old, and we want to raise 50 thousand dollars with the event.” To attain the final goal it is suggested entrants raise $1,000 each in sponsorship. “Some raise the minimum for entry while others raise much more,” said Toews. “We had one driver who raised over $9,000 on her own, and several who raised over $3,000.” The drivers are a mix of returning and new participants. Some have been on the ride since the beginning and others take a year or two off before returning. The day is about much more than showing off their restored tractors. “We start with a breakfast and then head over to Richer for lunch,” said

Funds raised from the sale of Wildlife in Your Back Yard will go towards the rehabilitation of critters brought into Wildlife Haven Rehabilitation Centre for treatment.

By Les Kletke

By Marianne Curtis

Ask Al Brandt of Blumenort if he is going to drive in the Tractor Trek and the answer is in the form of a question. “Can’t see why not?” Brandt has driven in the first 6 editions and plans to make it 7 straight. “I drive with two sons and three grandsons,” said Brandt with obvious pride. He has six McCormick tractors ready for the event. The family tradition runs deep with the Brandt’s and it is not just these three generations. “I have a Super W F that my Dad bought new in 1955,” he said. “And I have them up to the WD9 which was the biggest tractor they made on rubber tires at the time.” He has restored all the tractors himself up to the stage of painting which he has trusted to someone else. The only one that he has not had painted is the WD9, and it is the one he will drive in the upcoming Tractor Trek. “It is the biggest and a little clumsier,” he said. “So I drive that myself, the boys [grandchildren] are not farm boys and not used to handling the tractors so I take that one.” Brandt takes the tractors to a few other local shows such as a similar event in Winkler and the July 1 parade in Vita. For the Brandt’s, the Tractor Trek is a family affair and he says his grandsons seem to enjoy the event as much as he does so he has plans to continue on Trekking. The June 11 Tractor Trek begins at the Mennonite Heritage Museum, continues to Richer for lunch before winding back to the museum for supper and awards.

Have you ever come across a wild animal that was in need of help, and did not know who to call for advice? Have you ever heard stories of wild animals that have been rescued and rehabilitated, but had no idea what organizations were involved? A new children’s book released by the Wildlife Haven Rehabilitation Centre answers these questions and more. This past month, the Ile Des Chenes based facility added another educational tool to their arsenal with the release of a children’s book called Wildlife in Your Backyard - If You Care, Leave it There! Published by Oak Island Publications, another Ile des Chenes company, the 36 page, colour filled paperback highlights the many animals and birds rescued by the non-profit organization, along with their famous wildlife ambassadors. It provides information on the many reasons wildlife may require the assistance of wildlife rehabilitators and gives readers an insider’s peak into the stories of some of the unique wild animals that have been admitted into the Centre over the years, for a second chance. Also featured within these pages is fun facts about the patients and some of the individual stories of their nonreleasable wildlife residents. The Wildlife Haven Rehabilitation Centre is a registered nonprofit, volunteer-based charitable organization. They are dedicated to the rehabilitation and successful release of wildlife back to their natural environment. Find out more about the Centre at and to purchase a copy of Wildlife in Your Backyard on Amazon at

Dawson Trail Dispatch June 2016  

Southeast Manitoba News and Features