BRENTWOOD, Tenn. -- In conjunction with World Wish Day 2021 Thursday, Tractor Supply Company partnered with Make-A-Wish South Dakota & Montana to grant a boy’s wish that will help other children for years to come.
Koen, a 7-year-old farm kid from rural South Dakota, wished to teach kids about farming and farm safety while they receive medical care. The Tractor Supply Company Foundation donated $25,000 to bring an interactive farming exhibit to life in the waiting room of Avera Medical Group Pediatric Specialists in Sioux Falls, S.D., in addition to outfitting Koen with his own farm supplies.
Koen is described by his family as “an extreme extrovert who loves life on the farm” and riding with his dad in the tractor. He has been diagnosed with a respiratory disorder, which qualified him for a wish. Koen’s own medical appointments inspired his wish, and he hopes to bring a little bit of “magic” to other kids on their appointment days, which are otherwise exhausting and stressful.
“As part of our desire to give back to the communities we call home, the Tractor Supply Company Foundation is committed to supporting today’s youth and agriculture education initiatives. When we heard about Koen’s wish, we were so inspired by his generosity and desire to share his passion for farming and tractors with other children receiving care at Avera Medical Group Pediatric Specialists. We knew immediately this was something we wanted to be a part of, and we are glad to help sponsor bringing Koen’s Farm to life,” said Mary Winn Pilkington, Tractor Supply Company’s Senior Vice President of Investor Relations and Public Relations and President of the Tractor Supply Company Foundation.
Koen’s wish included three elements: the transformation of the waiting room into “Koen’s Farm”, an activity book and crayons for pediatric patients to color in once in their exam room and toy tractors to fill the treasure chest kids visit after their appointment.
The Tractor Supply Company Foundation donation includes two years’ worth of toy tractors for the treasure chest and cash to support the interactive educational displays in the waiting room.
“The wish journey gives children with critical illnesses a piece of their childhood back, and every child deserves a childhood,” said Sue Salter, President and CEO of Make-A-Wish South Dakota & Montana. “We have the ability to restore hope and bring joy back into a family’s life through the life-changing power of a wish. Koen’s kind and generous heart shines through in his wish to give and to brighten the lives of other kids experiencing fear, isolation and uncertainty.”
Although Koen did not ask for anything himself, Tractor Supply and vendors outfitted him with a few special gifts: his very own John Deere Ground Force Tractor and Trailer Ride-On Toy from Peg Perego, custom workwear from Carhartt, farm toys from Schleich and ERTL, and Tractor Supply goodies. The surprise gifts were presented by Sioux Falls Tractor Supply Store Manager, Randy Schall, at the unveiling of Koen’s Farm on April 29, World Wish Day.
Tractor Supply has a distribution center in Casa Grande that employs more than 300.