Current and past chairs of The Trains at NorthPark gathered at the home of Alan Engstrom for a 30th Anniversary Luncheon honoring those that have made the annual holiday event benefiting Ronald McDonald House of Dallas (RMHD) possible over the past three decades. Engstrom chaired the first-ever The Trains at NorthPark in 1987 with Debbie Raynor alongside founder Ban Bywaters, who was in attendance with his wife, Kathleen. The original Kid Conductor, Amy Maggard, was also on-hand with a scrapbook made during her 1987 stay at RMHD and time in the spotlight as Kid Conductor.
The Trains at NorthPark, presented by Bank of Texas and benefiting RMHD, attracts more than 70,000 visitors each holiday season at Dallas’ favorite shopping destination with over 750 railcars recognizing the corporations, organizations, families and individuals who make the seasonal attraction possible. The 30th annual holiday run will arrive November 18, 2017, and be open daily through January 7, 2018.
“This 30th Anniversary luncheon brought together so many of the amazing personalities that have helped shepherd and steer this event over the last 30 years,” said Jill Cumnock, chief executive officer of RMHD. “From Ban Bywaters, who first thought to create The Trains, to this year’s Honorary Chairs Dr. Dale and Jean Fuller, it was a joyful reunion celebrating this exhibit, which has served as an amazing vehicle to raise more than $13 million for RMHD, while also becoming a beloved holiday traditions for tens of thousands.”
The Trains at NorthPark is the largest miniature train exhibit in Texas, a 1,600-foot elaborate configuration of tracks and scenes that heralds the North Texas holiday spirit each year. It has been seen by around two million people since its original run in 1987.
This year’s Honorary Chairs are Dr. Dale Fuller and his wife Jean Fuller. Dr. Fuller, a radiation oncologist, is a long-time supporter and founding board member of RMHD, which has provided a home-away-from-home for families of seriously ill or injured children seeking treatment at Dallas hospitals since 1981. The 2017 co-chairs for The Trains at NorthPark are Hollee Hirzel and Bridget Miller. Jamie Singer chaired the luncheon.
Tickets for The Trains at NorthPark are $4 for children ages 2-12 and seniors over 65. Adults are $7, while children under 2 are admitted for free. The exhibit closes for Christmas and Thanksgiving, also closing early at 4 p.m. for both Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. Those interested in supporting The Trains at NorthPark through sponsorship, volunteering or purchasing a railcar can do so by visiting www.thetrainsatnorthpark.com or contacting Janie Robertson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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PHOTO CREDIT: Bret Redman
ABOUT RONALD MCDONALD HOUSE OF DALLAS:
Established in 1981, Ronald McDonald House of Dallas has served as a home-away-from-home for more than 37,000 families of seriously ill children who have traveled to Dallas seeking medical treatment in area hospitals. By providing a caring, supportive, home-like environment, Ronald McDonald House of Dallas keeps the family intact and helps allow a family to establish a normal routine in the midst of crisis. It also provides families with the opportunity to share their concerns with other families in similar circumstances. For more information, please contact Ronald McDonald House of Dallas at 214.631.7354, or visit www.rmhdallas.org.