“I’ve been thinking about it, and I want to donate my tractor collection to the Y.”
Sid Collins, President & CEO of the YMCA of Easley, Pickens & Powdersville, wasn’t sure what to expect, but that definitely wasn’t on his radar when he & Steve Crowe, a local businessman and YMCA champion, first got a phone call for a meeting with long-time community leader Jimmy Wilson.
But that’s the kind of man Jimmy Wilson is.
“The YMCA is one of the best things that’s ever happened to the Powdersville community,” Jimmy said. “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.”
He rallied behind the effort to bring the YMCA to the Powdersville & Wren communities in 2015, and then when the Powdersville YMCA needed an expansion just a few years later he led the way with the campaign’s lead gift.
Now, with the estimated value the tractors are expected to bring at auction, Mr. Wilson has set the Powdersville YMCA on the path to bring a Child Development Center to the Powdersville & Wren communities.
And all of this from a man who simply sees the value the Y brings to the community and wants to help expand those services to more of our neighbors.
Steve Crowe, the owner of Foothills MotorSports and a longtime 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. 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. My hope is that others will follow Jimmy’s lead in supporting our community through the YMCA.”
Mr. Wilson has amassed an impressive assortment of tractors, making his collection one of the top tractor collections in the country. The tractors, which date back to as early as 1919, include a Hart Parr 30, an IHC 8-16 Junior Kerosene, an International Harvester Titan 10-20, a Case 18-32, more than 50 John Deere tractors and several other unique brands.
The money raised from the auction of the antique tractor collection will be earmarked for a future Child Development and Training Center (CDTC) in the Powdersville/Wren community.
“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,” Collins said. “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 CDTC will meet some of the community’s most pressing needs by providing three core services. First, it will offer primary childcare for infants through 4K, Monday-Friday, 7:00am to 6:00pm with a focus on equipping children for Kindergarten, all with a Christian worldview.
Secondly, it will focus on helping train family caregivers in the community who are serving as primary caregiver. Lastly, it will provide support services to expecting and new mothers so that there is a thriving support community through some of the most exciting and challenging months for both mom and baby.
The CDTC is estimated to cost $1.5M-$2M to build and this donation will begin the effort to make this a reality. The YMCA does not have a location identified nor a goal for opening.
“At this point, we know the need is tremendous, and we wish we could start building today! We are moving forward with careful planning and prayerfully hoping for more community support to make this a reality,” Collins said. “Whether we start soon or it takes a few years, we are trusting in God’s timing with all this.”