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Photo by Rachelle Klemme Bob Harms of Kingston, Minn. pulls out of The Cove on a Toro lawn mower on the way to Wadena Aug. 24. The stop in Wadena was part of a north to south trip through Minnesota to raise money for the Lions Children's Hearing Center.

Road trip on a lawn mower

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A man on a lawn mower cruised through the Wadena area at 7 mph as part of a north to south Minnesota road trip to raise funds for the Lions Children's Hearing Center.

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Bob Harms of Kingston, Minn. said the idea came about after discussing ways of fundraising for the Lions, and driving a lawn mower down the state was what he thought of.

Other people supported Harms' idea, and an RV went ahead on the route, meeting him at stops.

Linda Albrecht-Norby of Lions District 5M9, encompassing several dozen clubs including Wadena, said she helped Harms' effort as a location scout for this area.

Harms said it was a fun road trip.

"If you really want to see what a great state we live in, do it on a Toro because you don't see all that stuff when you're driving in a car," Harms said, comparing the difference to driving versus taking an airplane.

Harms said he wanted a route that was safe and relatively flat, and U.S. Highway 71 fit the bill, with its wide shoulders. Harms started on Minnesota Highway 89 from the Canada border to Bemidji, where he took U.S. Highway 71 the rest of the way.

Harms said the state is very beautiful, and one thing he noticed as he made his way down Wadena County was fewer grasshoppers than further north.

Besides the fun, he had a cause.

"The purpose of the trip is to raise funds for the Lions Children's Hearing Center," Harms said, adding that it is a resource for children with serious hearing problems to see different specialists all in one day.

Harms stopped at different Lions Clubs on the route, and he met the Wadena Lions at Pizza Ranch the evening of Aug. 24.

Harms started the trip from the Canada border to the Iowa border Aug. 20 and reached his destination Aug. 29.

According to Ken Anderson of Wadena Lions, Harms raised $12,000 before reaching Wadena, but they do not know the total yet for Wadena or the trip as a whole.

Harms' overall goal is to raise $50,000.

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