As a busy 2015 drew to a close and the members of the Central Illinois Green Club had much to reflect on. Everyone started the year on a high note, but these feeling were often washed away by the extremely wet spring and early summer that much of Northern Illinois experienced. In fact, many tractor shows were either canceled all together or had their events severely limited by the weather. Everyone is hopeful that 2016 will be a better year for the crops as well as for enjoying the tractor drives and many shows in and around Northern Illinois.
The banquet held on December 16 at the American Legion in Herscher was a fitting way to close out 2015. One high note was special recognition that Dale Armstrong received for selling the most peddle tractor raffle tickets. He has always been a top seller, but this year he blew away the competition! He also announced that he will be moving out of state. This may give our peddle tractor raffle an even greater reach!
This year brings Ride the River 2016. With 150 drivers enjoying the ride while fundraising money for 8 local FFA chapters, this year should turn our much brighter than last year. Save August 27 for Ride the River and get your Registration Form in soon! The annual Covered Bridge Tractor Ride is also being planned as well as many other local rides around the area. Be sure to plan accordingly!!!
We hope this year will be a good one!
To the Officers, Directors, and Members of the Central Illinois Green Club:
This all started with a meeting in November of 2002 with 40 people who loved tractors. One month later with 15 volunteer Directors we met to form our meeting plans, choose officers, and plan a newsletter. In April of 2003 we had 55 members, and at one time reached 200 with an average of 170 over the past five years. The Club’s main objective is sharing, educating, and promoting the knowledge of antique tractors, farm machinery and collectibles. In 2008 the first Ride the River was put together, and 4 rides later this club has raised over $37.000.00. This established our commitment to give back to the community, and help students with a desire to continue their studies in agriculture and horticulture.
My dream was to establish this club, and all of you have made that come true in a way far greater than I imagined. I know that stepping down as President, it will continue to grow and fulfill the commitment we have made to our youth, communities and the presentation and knowledge of our antique tractors and farming.
Nancy and I have met many people along the way, and call many of them friends, as we do everyone sitting here tonight. The many events that we have attended, participated in and conducted has given us that opportunity.
As you know this is not an easy thing to do, but I know we have built a strong foundation in our membership that will help this club to get bigger and better.
As I stand here to pass this gavel I am very proud of this club, it’s membership and all that we have accomplished. Nancy and I look forward to our new roles in the club with great pride.
I thank all of you from the very bottom of my heart for making one of my dreams come true.
Central Illinois Green Club
Ride the River was a huge success once again. Everyone should be very proud of the result of this year’s ride. The Ride the River 2014 page has been updated to include the sponsor list. Also, a photo album has been added that documents the ride.
President John Evans took some time from his Alaskan vacation to leave us with this message regarding the success of Ride the River 2014.
I would like to thank Dave Wehrman for picking up the pizzas from Tony’s Pizza on Friday night. Thank you to Steve Klecke owner of Tony’s for the pizzas. Thank you to Bill Hengl and Carol Churilla for picking up the donuts, fruit and snacks. Thank you to Pete Schafer and the
Kankakee County Fairgrounds board for allowing us to use the Fairgrounds as a starting and ending point. Thank you to the 7 FFA officers from the River Valley FFA chapter that spent the
whole day with us! Thanks also to the 2 girls from the Herscher FFA group the helped at noon. Their help was most appreciated and needed. Thanks to Stan and Janeen Dietz who sponsored the water and 380 lb of ice. Thank you to Mark Chapman for the 144 cookies he sponsored. Thank you notes have been sent to all the sponsors. Please note the list of 2014 Ride the River sponsors in the September Greensheet and support those and say thanks when you see them for their continued support. The event rose over $7000 that will be given to the local FFA chapters. Thanks to the Ride the River Committee and everyone who helped and participated in the 2014 Ride the River event! A job well done!!
As published in October 8, 2014 issue (Issue 142) of The Greensheet.
Ride the River is back! Tractor enthusiasts from all over are invited to bring their tractors and participate in the 2014 “Ride the River” Vintage Tractor Ride, scheduled for Saturday, August 23, 2014 along the Kankakee and Iroquois rivers.
“We are extremely excited to bring this unique and special event back again.” notes John Evans, Sr., President of the Central Illinois Green Club. “The 2008, 2010 and 2012 rides created a substantial scholarship for KCC Ag and Horticulture students. This year’s ride will directly benefit local agriculture students at the High School level. Specifically the proceeds will benefit the Herscher, Dwight Clifton Central, Iroquois West and Peotone FFA chapters.
This year the ride will begin at the Kankakee County Fairgrounds with a 6:30 a.m. check-in, coffee and donuts. Participants are encouraged to bring their tractors to the Fairgrounds the night before, but may also arrive the morning of the event. For those wishing to come in the night before, overnight security and surveillance will be provided on-site. An estimated 150 tractors will leave the Kankakee Fairgrounds, following a route of approximately 50 miles.
Ride the river has always and will continue to be a fun way for enthusiasts to get together, show off their pride and joy vintage tractors, see the tractors brought by other collectors, and enjoy a beautiful, scenic ride for a great cause. Best of all, supporting this year’s event will mean bolstering future generations of farmers throughout the region.
Sign up for the ride with the official Registration Form. More information is available on the Ride the River 2014 page.
Even though the temperatures have been sub zero and there are piles of snow the size of tractors all over the yard, plans are being made to fill out the New Year at the Central Illinois Green Club. Continuing and new events are on the calendar and the details are being iron out. The regular monthly club meetings are on the calendar as well as the May pot luck meeting, so be sure to attend those. Also, it is time to start thinking about the first outdoor club event – our annual swap meet!
Also on the events list are the Herscher Tractor Ride and Display, the Club’s 12th annual Covered Bridge Tractor Ride, the Manteno Veterans Home Display and possible tours of the Case IH plant and Keller Antiques. 2014 is looking like it may be another great year!
To end the year the Central Illinois Green club has a number of very special events planned. The November meeting will be a pot luck meeting. It will be held on November 20 at 6:30 at the Bonfield Lions Hall. Table service, mean and drinks will be provided. Please bring a dish to share.
The annual Christmas Dinner Meeting will be held on December 18 at 6:30 at the Herscher Legion Hall. The cost is $15 per person and reservations are required. Lestina’s catering will be proving food again. There will be a silent auction as well as door prizes. We hope to see you at both events. They are a lot of fun!
Plans are being made for tours and trips for next year. Stay tuned, we will be publishing more information in The Greensheet and on the web.
On July 18-21 the Club set up at the Will County Threshermans Show at the Round Barn Farm in Manhattan, Illinois. Brad Eike reported that the Show was a great success. It was a little warm, but the crowd was good on Saturday and Sunday. Brad thanked everyone that came to the shows, supported, and helped out.
July 21was the first annual tractor show at The Office on 17 east. Five tractors showed up. July 27 was the Peotone FFA Tractor Ride and Craft show. They had 35 tractors on the drive and raised over $6000. On August 3, 33 tractors and an Army semi tractor trailer exhibited at the Manteno Veterans Home. There were no reports on the Watseka Farm Show that was held on August 3. The Collom Tractor show had close to 40 tractors. They rode through town to the tractor pull where 23 tractors participated in the tractor pull. The Half Century of Progress in Rantoul, IL was held from August 22-25. The tractor ride on Thursday had over 100 tractors participating on the drive.
The Schwark Family Farm will be celebrating its centennial year this year. On September 14 the farm will have a Plow Day. On November 2 Thee Olde Time Farm Show is having a Cash Bash at the Moose Lodge in Bradley. There will be over $5600 in prizes.
The club tractor ride is scheduled for September 5. It will start at the Evans Farm. From there it will head northwest to Harley & Carol Bunte’s, to Braidwood where everyone will tour D&D Construction’s Equipment collection. The ride will end at Coal city where everyone will eat Lunch. After lunch the ride will continue south to Braceville, cross highway 55, and continue through to Essex and then back to the Evan’s Farm.
A club bus trip to Peoria is being planned. More information will come. If interested sign up at the meeting.
There has been a tasty update to the May 2013 monthly meeting. The May meeting will be a pot luck! The meeting will start at 6:30 so don’t be late and be sure to bring a dish to pass. The club will provide chicken as well as beverages and place settings. See the event details for more information.
The 2013 swap meet is right around the corner so be sure to put it on your calendar and reserve your spot early if you need a spot on the farm to sell your treasures. It will be held at the Evans farm from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm. Coffee and refreshments will be provided. For more information see the event details. The registration for can be found here to reserve space.
Happy New Year from the Sunshine State! I hope your holidays were great. Now it’s on to the New Year which means for many of us, get organized, plan ahead, be a better listener, etc. We have another great lineup of shows and activities this year. So I hope you will all resolve to join us and have some fun. Our monthly meetings have become an informational gathering. Oh yeah, and the snacks have been great. It has been an honor and privilege to be the president of the Central Illinois Green Club for the past ten years. We have made some wonderful friends and had a lot fun attending many events over the years. Our dedication and purpose is to maintain a club for the purpose of sharing, educating, and promoting the knowledge of antique tractors, farm machinery and collectables. Working with other clubs and organizations to continue this purpose has been a valued experience. We have been given the opportunity to participate in upcoming events that will help us maintain our dedication and purpose. Your continued enthusiasm and camaraderie have been the soul of this club the last ten years. I personally want to thank the officers, the board of directors and all the members for the time and support you have given The Central Illinois Green Club Inc. Your cooperation, meeting attendance and volunteering for committees is this clubs foundation and our future. So mark your calendars for the 2013 exciting coming events. See you soon!
JOHN J. EVANS SR.
As published in January 5, 2013 issue (Issue 121) of The Greensheet.
Ride the River 2012 was a huge success! The usual complement of drivers were on hand to enjoy the 50 mile tractor ride, food, fun and camaraderie. Sponsorship also increased from Ride the River 2010. There were over 50 sponsors that helped make the goals of Ride the River 2012 possible. Read more on the official Ride the River 2012 page.