Smoky Mountain and the Dream Connection

Nick Harold with his Ford

Nick Harold and his new Ford with working head and tail lights. In the background are Riley Kennedy, David Walker and Paul Moyers.

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6206 Flint Gap Road, Knoxville, Tennessee 37914

We have a great club and community, here in Knoxville, Tennessee. The Smoky Mountain Antique Engine and Tractor Association and the Dream Connection from Knoxville joined hands to help a child.

Six year old Nicholas Harold had his dream fulfilled at the World's Fair Park. Nick has Bruton's Ammaglobulinemia, an immune system disorder that makes him highly vulnerable to contagious diseases. He and his older brother, Ronnie, are hospitalized two to three times a year as a result from their inherited disease.

Nick's special day was organized by the Dream Connection, a local nonprofit group that raises money to fulfill the wishes of children with life threatening illnesses. Dream Connection has no paid staff, everyone is a volunteer, and all the fundraising they do goes straight to the kids. Nick had asked the Dream Connection for a remote control tractor. Martin Shafer and Janice Hall, special members of our club who are on the board of the Dream Connection, spread the word about Nick's wish.

It didn't take long for some of the members of the Smoky Mountain Antique Engine and Tractor Association to get their tractors for Nick to ride. He rode every tractor and car that was there. It only took him about four hours. There was Riley Kennedy and his big blue Ford, Dena and Marvin Watkins with their big 'Crossbreed' International pulling tractor with a 350 Chevy engine and their pulling sled 'No Mercy.' Larry and Patsy Morris had their 'G' Allis Chalmers, Linda and Raymond Whited, their big John Deere, Donald James, his red bellied Ford, and Robert and Wanda Alvin, their 1902 replica Cadillac. Tony Jones was also there to lend a helping hand.

Josh, Justin, Larry and Franklin Kennedy were there to represent three generations for their Gibson tractor, Spence Walker and grandson were there with his Farmall, Martin Shafer had his Farmall Cub, Janice Hall and son Steven were there for all our moral support, and David Vanaman had his John Deere orchard tractor.

John Jennings was there helping Marvin Watkins with the pulling sled, and friends of Martin Shafer's, Bob and Vickie Walker, came by to take some pictures. There were all kinds of model tractors and books donated by different companies and individuals.

That just got our members fueled up. Our next club meeting was the one where Santa Claus came. Martin Shafer donated a riding lawn mower and Riley Kennedy took it with him and restored it to look like his big blue Ford. Robert Alvis restored the seat on it, a tractor company donated the emblems for a Ford. Nick and his family joined us for the meeting, but Nick didn't know what was planned for him.

Santa came and Nick got his very own Ford tractor with working head and tail lights. Needless to say, he couldn't believe it. Martin Shafer also surprised the family when he gave them $500.00 from the Dream Connection to make their Christmas brighter.

One thing we all have to agree on, there are no people better than those Antique Engine and Tractor Association collectors!