We received this story from Cassandra and couldn’t wait to share it. What a great story of a young lady with a love for tractor restoration and a heart open to helping others. Please share her story, she is a great example of our youth.
My name is Cassandra Gifford a recent graduate of Eufaula High School in the state of Alabama. I am currently a part of one of the greatest organizations available to youth, the FFA. Through FFA I have been blessed with many great opportunities, one involving restoring antique tractors. Being on the tractor restoration team for 3 years has inspired me to restore my own personal tractor. By restoring my own tractor it would allow me to get my American Degree, which is the highest award that you could achieve through FFA.
In the beginning the plan was to paint my tractor pink because not everyone has a PINK tractor and it would also keep my dad from using it to plant food plots for deer hunting. As my restoration progressed I would soon find out there would be a pink tractor competition through Fastline Publications, the best pink tractor submitted in August would gain the cover of the October addition in honor of breast cancer. After having heard about the disease I wanted to learn more about it, in doing so I found out more people were affected by this than I originally thought
I figured by using my tractor as a tool to somehow educate and give people hope and courage it would make a difference in their life. I work closely with Medical Center Barbour and Relay For Life and many other cancer related organizations. My tractor has been to many different fundraising events including the National Peanut Festival, Eufaula Pilgrimage, Indian Summer, Champions of Hope, and many other events. All funds donated are put into the Medical Center Barbour Breast Cancer Fund. As a female I’m aware of the risks and the sacrifices of Breast Cancer. While interviewing several Breast Cancer survivors I found out it was closer to home than I originally thought. Millions of women are diagnosed every year. Inspired by these stories I knew I wanted to restore this 1952 Ford 8n tractor in the name of Breast Cancer.
This tractor and someone diagnosed with Breast Cancer has a similar resemblance, the tractor on the outside looked to have no hope but with a lot of hard work and external modifications there would be a second chance. Seeing the tractor for the first time in its condition I knew it was going to be a lot of work. I have now restored it to its new second chance on life in hopes it will inspire Breast Cancer survivors that they too can have a second chance on life.
Throughout my project I have been able to make so many new relationships, help those in need as well as spread the word about my love for the FFA. My pink tractor now has its place on the Front cover of the Fastline Magazine for the October edition for 2014. My tractor has also been traveling to different fundraising events all over the state of Alabama. At each event that Hope and I have attended we have earned donations for this cause and we continue to do so as we want to find the cure and end the fight.
My goal throughout this project has been to help those in need and inspire others to help as well. This restoration would have never been possible without being involved in FFA, having an advisor like Mr. Buster Padgett, supportive parents, and many others such as: Eufaula High School, Titan Tires, Steiner Tractor Parts, Fastline Magazine Publications, NAPA Bennett Auto Parts, HG Auto Paint, Eufaula Iron Works, and Herndon Tire Company.