Taking the wheel of his New Holland Boomer compact tractor for the last time, Jay Leno drove the tractor nicknamed the ’Lil Tug onto the auction block at the 41st Annual Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Auction this weekend and, in a matter of minutes, raised more than a half million dollars to support veterans and their families.
One hundred percent of the winning bid of $535,000 will benefit the Fisher House Foundation, which constructs comfort homes to provide free temporary housing to the families of service members receiving medical care at V.A. and military hospitals around the world.
The ’Lil Tug is no ordinary tractor. Not only did it work in Jay Leno’s Garage for nearly five years, pulling and positioning Leno’s array of collector vehicles, it also bore the signature of George W. Bush, 43rd President of the United States of America and a staunch supporter of America’s military and their families.
“We owe a debt of gratitude to the men and women who have sacrificed to serve our country,” says New Holland Vice President Abe Hughes, “and we’re honored to play a part in this effort to support veterans and their families.”
“This is one of the greatest charities because 100% of the money goes to helping veterans,” said Jay Leno. “I’ve visited a Fisher House in California, and I can tell you they make the families really feel special. That’s why I’m donating my tractor. It’s a small price to pay. If I can give back by doing something like this, it makes me feel great.”
“We’re so grateful to Jay Leno for donating his prized tractor, and to President Bush for his support to benefit the men and women who serve our great nation selflessly, as well as their families who support them and give them the strength to do a terrifically difficult job,” said Ken Fisher, Chairman and CEO of Fisher House.
“’Lil Tug was part of the Jay Leno family, and we know how important family is, especially when a loved one is recovering from injuries suffered on the battlefield. We salute Jay, Barrett-Jackson and all those who support our military families.”
“Charity work is part of our business philosophy and helping the Fisher House Foundation to raise funds for their charity is something we are happy to do,” said Craig Jackson, Chairman and CEO of Barrett-Jackson Auction Company.