In conjunction with World Wish Day 2021 on April 29, 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.
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Make-A-Wish wish recipient Koen poses for a picture with Sioux Falls Tractor Supply Store Manager, Randy Schall, while exploring “Koen’s Farm”, an interactive farming exhibit in the waiting room at Avera Medical Group Pediatric Specialists in Sioux Falls, S.D. Photo credit: Danny Eisenhauer Photo.
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 includes 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.
Koen’s wish is also made possible by several local donors, each with a strong connection to Make-A-Wish and Avera: Jeff and Julie (Norton) Lautt; Kathleen Kunkel and her daughters Megan, Katie and Carly, in loving memory of their husband and father Shawn; and the Ty Eschenbaum Foundation – In Honor of Autumn. Several other corporate partners also contributed to bring Koen’s wish to life: HenkinSchultz, Nanonation, Avera, Journey Construction, Thompson Electric, Sioux Falls Interiors, Audio Fish, Elo Touch Solutions, Dell Computers, Peerless-AV and Sisson Printing.
About Tractor Supply Company
Tractor Supply Company (NASDAQ: TSCO), the largest rural lifestyle retailer in the United States, has been passionate about serving its unique niche, as a one-stop shop for recreational farmers, ranchers and all those who enjoy living the rural lifestyle, for more than 80 years. Tractor Supply offers an extensive mix of products necessary to care for home, land, pets and animals with a focus on product localization, exclusive brands and legendary customer service that addresses the needs of the Out Here lifestyle. With more than 42,000 Team Members, the Company leverages its physical store assets with digital capabilities to offer customers the convenience of purchasing products they need anytime, anywhere and any way they choose at the everyday low prices they deserve. At March 27, 2021, the Company operated 1,944 Tractor Supply stores in 49 states and an e-commerce website at www.TractorSupply.com.
Tractor Supply Company also owns and operates Petsense, a small-box pet specialty supply retailer focused on meeting the needs of pet owners, primarily in small and mid-size communities, and offering a variety of pet products and services. At March 27, 2021, the Company operated 177 Petsense stores in 23 states. For more information on Petsense, visit www.Petsense.com.
About the Tractor Supply Company Foundation
The Tractor Supply Company Foundation was established in 2020 and is committed to supporting vibrant rural communities for all by investing in the future of the Out Here Lifestyle through today’s youth, helping close the rural digital divide and being a good neighbor in the communities Tractor Supply calls home. The Foundation’s priority areas include agriculture education initiatives, broadband connectivity for rural America, caring for pets and animals and preserving land for future generations. The Foundation expands upon the charitable work of Tractor Supply Company, supporting causes that are important to customers and Team Members. In 2020, the Company donated over $12 million to charitable causes through direct giving, sponsorships, fundraisers and more. To learn more about The Tractor Supply Company Foundation, visit Corporate.TractorSupply.com/Community.
About Make-A-Wish® South Dakota & Montana
Make-A-Wish South Dakota & Montana creates life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. Research shows children who have wishes granted can build the physical and emotional strength they need to fight their illness. Our chapter has granted more than 2,200 wishes for children in the local community. Together with generous donors, supporters, staff and more than 30,000 volunteers, Make-A-Wish South Dakota & Montana and 58 other chapters throughout the U.S. have granted more than 340,000 wishes nationwide. For more information about Make-A-Wish South Dakota & Montana, visit wish.org/sdmt.
About World Wish Day
On April 29, 1980, Department of Public Safety officers and members of the community in Phoenix, Arizona, came together to grant the wish of Chris Greicius, a 7-year-old boy battling leukemia who wished to be a police officer. Chris’ wish inspired six of the people involved to form a foundation that would grant life-changing wishes for other children with critical illnesses. The organization known as Make-A-Wish® has since granted more than 500,000 wishes worldwide, operating in every community in the U.S. and in nearly 50 countries worldwide. Make-A-Wish South Dakota & Montana was founded in 1984 and has granted more than 2,200 wishes that deliver hope and joy back into the lives of children with critical illnesses in South Dakota and Montana. April 29 is celebrated as World Wish Day in recognition of the anniversary of Chris Greicius’ wish that inspired the founding of Make-A-Wish, and subsequently, Make-A-Wish South Dakota & Montana and the global wish-granting movement.
Tractor Supply Company
Mary Winn Pilkington (615) 440-4212
Mackenzie Goldman (615) 440-4360