A South Carolina man has donated his lifetime collection of more than 85 antique tractors, valued at over $500,000, to support the growth of a YMCA in the community.
The machines will be auctioned on October 9, and the money raised will be earmarked for a future Child Development and Training Center in the Powdersville/Wren community.
Collector Jimmy Wilson has amassed an impressive assortment of tractors, believed to be one of the top collections in the country. The tractors, which date back to as early as 1919, are restored to their original working condition and have an estimated range in value between $10,000 to $40,000 each. His collection includes a Hart Parr 30, 3 IHC 8-16 Junior Kerosene, International Harvester Titan 10-20, a Case 18-32, more than 50 John Deere tractors and others.
"The YMCA is one of the best things that's happened to the Powdersville community," said Jimmy Wilson, a longtime leader in the community. "We celebrate that we can play a small part in the YMCA's growth by contributing the proceeds from this auction of life-long collecting to our community."
The auction is being handled by Aumann Auctions of Illinois and will be online and live at 300 Shiloh Road, Piedmont, South Carolina.
"This gift from Mr. Wilson is an unbelievable blessing for our YMCA, and we will use this to continue our mission for more life-changing work in the Powdersville community," said Sid Collins, CEO of the YMCA of Easley, Pickens & Powdersville. "Mr. Wilson has a heart for this community and we want to honor this gift by establishing a new CDTC in his honor so that the lives of thousands of families will be positively impacted for years to come."
The YMCA's Child Development and Training Center will meet some of the community's needs by providing three core services: offering childcare for infants through 4K with a focus on equipping children for kindergarten; helping train family members in the community serving as primary caregivers; and providing support services to expecting and new mothers.
Steve Crowe, owner of Foothills MotorSports and YMCA advocate, is leading the tractor auction effort as a volunteer. "It continues to amaze and please me to see how our community has embraced the mission and the vision of the YMCA," said Crowe. "When you have the opportunity to work with someone like Jimmy Wilson and see first-hand his passion and generosity toward our community, it further illustrates what a bright future we have here in the Powdersville/Wren area."
Many hours of heart and effort went into assembling Wilson's incredible collection over the years. He talks about his passion for antique tractors and his collection in this YouTube video: