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Tractor of Hope

Posted November 21, 2012 in Community Featured

Kevin and Carla Sebolt stand by the tractor they restored in honor of her parents and his mother, all of whom died of cancer.

Carla and Kevin Sebolt’s pearl-pink tractor is more than the prettiest tractor at the show; it is a message of hope for people affected by cancer.

After Carla lost her mother, Ida Hanes, to breast cancer in 1996, she wanted to do something special to memorialize her.

“She was a great person and never wanted anything for herself, as mothers are,” she says.

Then her father, Carl Hanes, succumbed to a form of bone marrow cancer in 2002.

Tragedy struck again in 2010 when Kevin’s mother, Luetta Sebolt, was diagnosed with cervical cancer and died within months.

The Sebolts had started a tractor club in Moulton in 2007. When Carla was thinking about her husband’s love of restoring tractors, it came to her.

“My husband was restoring tractors, and the idea started formulating in my mind of a pink tractor,” she says.

Everyone in the family loved the idea. Kevin spent hundreds of hours restoring and painting the 1955 Farmall 300. His father, brother, nephew and children pitched in.

A brooch that belonged to Luetta is affixed in the handle of the gear shift, while a locket that belonged to Ida and contains a picture of her and Carl is on the dashboard.

The Sebolts debuted the tractor at the WHO Radio Great Iowa Tractor Ride in June and couldn’t believe the response.

At first, Carla says, people would come over because they were drawn to the color. Then, when they learned the story behind the hue, many shared heartbreaking and hopeful stories of their own.

The Sebolts say even though pink is particularly associated with breast cancer, their message is for anyone affected by cancer, which, Kevin points out, is basically everyone.

The Sebolts are also starting the Lu-Ida Living Legacy Foundation, named after their mothers.

“We want to be able to raise money through various activities that will be able to help families within this county that are financially strapped due to this disease,” Kevin says.

Contact Darren at 515-953-4822 ext. 304 or to recommend someone for an upcoming issue of “What’s In Your Garage?”

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