Every year, Ronald McDonald House of Dallas selects a Kid Conductor to blow the whistle to open their signature event, The Trains at NorthPark. This holiday, Ruth Daniel, six years old, will fill this role and open the event this Saturday, November 22. Miss Daniel is a patient Dr. Jeffrey Fearon who is serving as Honorary Co-Chair with his wife, Regen.
Dr. Fearon, a craniofacial surgeon, has treated many children who have stayed at the House. On October 27, he performed craniofacial surgery to help Ruth with her severe sleep apnea (by having a Le Forte 1 with a halo distraction performed). He also pinned her ears to better fit her hearing aid and glasses.
Dr. Fearon said, “The Ronald McDonald House of Dallas is a unique and very special place. It provides a warm supportive environment where families who have a sick child needing specialized treatment that takes them far from home can rest and decompress from all the associated stresses. My patients uniformly have nothing but wonderful things to say about the House.”
Her mother, Robin Daniel, said, “Although she has Down Syndrome and is hearing impaired, she doesn't let diagnosis define her. She is incredible and such a blessing to our lives.”
Ruth was adopted into Robin and John Daniel’s loving family who resides in Tyler. The Daniels have seven children, five of whom were adopted: John David (14), Joshua (11), Rachel (10), Rebekah (8), Josiah (7), Ruth (6), Jeremiah (16 months). They are in the process of adopting their eighth child, a daughter from China, Rose (2 ½).
Ruth’s favorite memory of her stay at the House was playing and having fun. Robin commented, “I was so glad that she had a place to be able to play and have fun and decrease her stress and anxiety about the upcoming surgery. She loved the outside playground, playroom and the library of children's books. When we came back from the hospital to check out of the Ronald McDonald House, all Ruth could talk about was wanting to go play.”
Robin also felt the warmth of the House and the people there. “The House was amazing, and the whole experience exceeded my expectations. The rooms were homey and the meals were great. All the staff and volunteers were very friendly and helpful.”
Now that Ruth is home in Tyler, she’s healing well. “Ruth is amazing in every way. Her recovery has been quicker and smoother than we could have ever imagined. Ruth will have day surgery to remove the halo with distraction before Christmas.” Indeed, it will be a gift, but not before blowing the whistle to open the Trains on November 22.
It’s families like the Daniel’s that the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas supports, especially with its largest fundraiser, The Trains at NorthPark, presented by Bank of Teas, which raises nearly a third of its operating budget.
The Trains at NorthPark, presented by Bank of Texas, celebrates its 27th year as one of Dallas’ favorite family holiday traditions. The exhibit rolls through January 4, 2015. This year’s exhibit is located on Level One near Nordstrom. The most elaborate miniature toy trains exhibit in Texas, The Trains at NorthPark includes personalized, hand-painted railcars rolling across 1,600 feet of track on a journey across America as seen through Santa’s workshop. New this year is the Perot Museum, which will be featured in the Dallas cityscape. It’s not too late to purchase a railcar. A standard railcar is $175, a caboose is $225, and an engine is $325. Visit http://www.rmhdallas.org/railcar/ to place an online order.
HOURS, DATES AND TICKETS:
Hours and times are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and Sunday, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. The early closing dates are as follows: November 26, Thanksgiving Eve, at 6 p.m.; December 24, Christmas Eve, at 4 p.m.; December 31, New Years Eve, at 6 p.m.; January 1, New Years Day, at 6 p.m. The exhibit will be closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas, but it will be open on New Year's Day.
The cost is $7.00 for adults, $3.00 for children (ages 2 to 12) and senior citizens (65 and older). Children under 2 admitted free. Discount tickets are available at Tom Thumb ($1.00 off regular admission). NorthPark Center is located at North Central Expressway at Northwest Highway, Dallas, Texas 75225.
For those interested in volunteering, visit http://www.thetrainsatnorthpark.com/. Volunteers must be at least 15 years old without a parent, or 12-14 years old and accompanied by a parent.
LEADERS AND SPONSORS:
In addition to the Fearons serving as Honorary Co-Chairs, event co-chairs are community leaders Jamie Singer and Tia Wynne.
Bank of Texas returns for a sixth year as Presenting Sponsor. Special thanks to the following sponsors:
Presenting Sponsor: Bank of Texas
Platinum Baron: Arhaus, Lyda Hill, MHBT, Inc., NorthPark Center, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater North Texas, Tom Thumb.
Golden Spike: Baylor Scott and White Health, Prairie Creek Partners, Summit Transportation.
Silver Express: Children’s Health, Hilltop Holdings Inc., ISI Commercial Refrigeration, Medical City Children’s, Stuart Hose and Pipe Co., Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, Wynne Transportation.
Chief Engineer: Beck Group, The Cain Foundation, Corner Bakery Café, Curtain Wall Design and Consulting, Dallas Children’s Charities, Catie and Aaron Enrico, Gaedeke Group, Cecilie and Ronnie Holman, JMEG, The Miller Family Foundation, Cynthia and Kevin O’Brien, Sparkhound, Thompson and Knight Foundation.
Media sponsors include NBC5, KLUV and CBS Radio, The Park Cities News/Waters Family, neighborsgo, TravelHost, The Coulter Group, DART, DFWChild.
ABOUT THE RONALD MCDONALD HOUSE OF DALLAS:
Established in 1981, the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas has served as a home-away-from-home for more than 35,000 families of seriously ill or injured children who have traveled to Dallas seeking medical treatment in area hospitals. By providing a caring, supportive, home-like environment, the 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 or to order a railcar, contact Carrie Arnot, Special Events Manager, at 214-624-5363 or visit http://www.thetrainsatnorthpark.com/.