On Sunday, October 21, the Kerry Hall in Yonkers, New York hosted a charitable fundraiser for the Irish Cancer Society. The event, coordinated by Kerryman Kevin Curran and his team of drivers and mechanics, coincided with Betsy the Tractor’s recent tour of America.
Curran, whose wife died from breast cancer, hoped that the tractor’s vintage appearance would inspire nostalgia among the local Irish community.
“Make a few [dollars] for the cancer association, that’s what all this is about,” said Curran.
Betsy – a light blue Ford 760 from the late-1950s – traveled 2,297 miles from Los Angeles to Chicago in previous weeks, along the highly-celebrated Route 66. It made an additional appearance at Boston.
“[The tractor’s] done the length of Ireland twice. She has gone across Ireland,” said Curran. “The biggest problem we have is that she won’t stay at home for us. She got used to traveling now, she won’t stay at home.”
Morris Fitzgerald, the tractor’s mechanic, added that its appearance followed several stages of restoration.
“We rebuilt the engine. She was made up of a bunch of tractors, done the transmission. Myself and Frank Sullivan painted her up, as well. There was a bit of time in it, but it worked out okay,” said Fitzgerald.
And though Betsy is “just a regular-sized farm tractor” rescued from a watery ditch, its allowed Curran and his team to raise approximately $85,000 for cancer research.
For more information, please visit www.facebook.com/route66betsythetractor/info. If you would like to make a donation, please deposit into the Bank of Ireland account (name: Kevin Curran for Cancer; bank sort code: 90-56-51; account number: 46732215).