It’s a chance for area residents to drive an antique tractor for a good cause.

This is the seventh year for the Goldenrod Tractor Ride set for Sept. 30.

There’s still room for more tractors in an event that gives participants an opportunity to motor through the scenic countryside, enjoy the camaraderie of other drivers and help a local organization.

Funds raised from the 2017 event will benefit The Hope Center for Kids in Fremont.

Unlike past years, participants in this event will receive a goody bag. There will be a $25 donation for the ride with all proceeds going to Fremont’s Hope Center.

Check-in starts at 7:30 a.m. that Saturday at Hansen Tire, 1590 Morningside Road in Fremont. Arrangements have been made for those who’d like to leave their tractor in Fremont the night before.

The Tractor Driver’s meeting will be at 8 a.m. that Saturday.

Tractors will leave at 8:30 a.m. The route is just shy of 60 miles. Plans are to go north out of Fremont, driving past a couple of nursing homes with the first break in the Fontanelle area.

The group will go south, while overlooking the Elkhorn River valley so participants can take in the colors of fall.

Lunch will be in Valley and will serve as a fundraiser for United Faith Community Church, 218 W. Gardiner St. There will be a $10 per-person donation.

Leaving Valley, the group will go past another couple of nursing homes, heading back toward Fremont. This time, participants will have an opportunity to see the Platte River countryside.

The event is open to people with any make and model of tractor, 1977 and older. Drivers must have a valid driver’s license. The tractors must be able to maintain a minimum speed of 13 miles per hour and have a clearly visible slow moving vehicle sign.

Only one person is allowed per tractor with the exception of a seat or setup designed for two people.

Tractors cannot pull campers, small carts or trailers. No duals allowed and all traffic laws will be enforced.

Drivers are urged to drive safely and to be alert at all times.

Participants are asked to preregister so organizers can make sure there are enough goody bags.

Past participants have enjoyed the event.

“It’s a whole different feeling going down the road at 13 mph. You pay more attention to what’s there. You see things that you don’t see when you’re driving down the road at 35 mph or 55 mph,” said Cheryl Ferguson, support staff.

Participants like the camaraderie of the event.

“There’s no lack of conversation when we stop for breaks and for lunch,” she said.

For more information or a registration form, call 402-720-9606 or email, gotra@msn.com.

In 2016, the tractor ride raised $620 for the local Hope Center.

The Hope Center provides social skills development, educational support, faith programs and sports and talent programs for youth in a safe environment. It has produced positive results.

“Kids are attending school more frequently,” Jason McGee, assistant director of the Hope Center, said earlier this year. “We’re seeing better grades, better behavioral outcomes. Kids are connecting to positive peer groups and great extracurricular activities.”

McGee said 176 children and youth were members of The Hope Center in Fremont in 2016. The center offers after-school programs on a year-round basis.

He also pointed out that The Hope Center is almost exclusively privately funded.

“We cannot operate without support from the community,” he said, adding that it depends on the heartfelt giving of individuals and businesses to ensure the kids have a Hope Center to attend year-round.

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News Editor

Tammy Real-McKeighan is news editor of the Fremont Tribune. She covers news, features, religion stories and writes the weekly faith-based, Spiritual Spinach column.

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