The Trains at NorthPark, presented by Bank of Texas, opened on November 23. Celebrating its 26th year of a favorite holiday tradition, all the proceeds benefit the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas (RMHD). This year’s exhibit is located on Level Two, the Nordstrom Wing between Sephora and Free People.
The most elaborate miniature toy trains exhibit in Texas, The Trains at NorthPark includes trains rolling across 1,600 feet of track on a journey across America. More than 75,000 people visit The Trains at NorthPark each season as part of their holiday tradition.
WFAA’s Colleen Coyle welcomed 300 supporters. “I am a meteorologist with WFAA, but I promise you that I didn’t bring this cool weather, but with the Trains opening up, we want it to feel like Christmas.”
Jill Cumnock, CEO of Ronald McDonald House of Dallas, thanked NorthPark and the trains co-chairs. “I would like to thank Nancy Nasher and David Haemisegger, the wonderful staff at NorthPark, and so many others who have been our partners for the past 15 years at NorthPark. I would also like to thank our wonderful and hard-working Event Co-Chairs Claire Raggio and Courtney Westerburg.”
Raggio and Westerburg recruited many volunteers to sell railcars, to secure sponsorships, and to sell raffle tickets. The raffle tickets, which will be sold until Jan. 5, are $5 for one ticket, and 5 tickets for $20. The four prizes include a Thomas the Train Set (donated by Trainworks, TW Design and valued at $4,700), $1,000 in NorthPark Gold, $1,000 from Eiseman Jewels, Night in the City (Valued at $879 with a stay at The Ritz Carlton, Dallas, a gift certificate to the Ritz spa and a $200 gift certificate to Del Frisco’s Grille). Raffle tickets are sold at the exhibit.
Claire Raggio thanked Honorary Chairs, Lauren and Pat Arthur. “Through his company MHBT, Pat has supported The Trains at NorthPark and has also served on the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas’ board of directors. Lauren has been on the trains committee and served in various volunteer roles.”
Courtney Westerburg added, “We want to thank our Presenting Sponsor, Bank of Texas, as this is the fifth year for their generous support.”
Bob White, Bank of Texas executive vice president, said, “Bank of Texas believes in the important work that Ronald McDonald House of Dallas does caring for families whose children are getting treatment for their illnesses and injuries. The House serves as a calm place for them during this difficult time, and the trains helps raise funds to make it happen.”
Coyle called up Kid Conductor Bishoy Megally whose father, Adel Megally, said a few words. “Thank you for the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas. We stayed for one year and three months, and Bishoy has had multiple surgeries.” From Egypt, Bishoy was born with severe Kyphoscoliosis, abnormal front-to-back and side-to-side curvature of the spine. Since this surgery could not be performed in Egypt, the family searched the globe for a place to have the surgery, and they came to Dallas. The family has now relocated to the North Texas area, so they can be near the fine medical facilities.
Bishoy and his brother, Fady, held up their whistles and blew them to open up The Trains at NorthPark.
A special thanks to the following sponsors:
Presenting Sponsor: Bank of Texas.
Platinum Baron: MHBT, Inc., Moroch, NorthPark Center, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater North Texas, Tom Thumb.
Golden Spike: Randy and Alan Engstrom, Hilltop Holdings Inc./Cate and Jeremy Ford, Sparkhound Foundation, Summit Transportation/Melissa and Bart Plaskoff, TW Design/Trainworx.
Silver Express: Children’s Medical Center, ISI Commercial Refrigeration.
Chief Engineer: American Contractors Insurance Group, The Cain Foundation, Corner Bakery Café, The Enrico Family, Gaedeke Group, Cecilie and Ronnie Holman, Cynthia and Kevin O’Brien, Prescott Pailet Benefits, a Marsh & McLennan Agency, Primrose School of Bedford, Stuart Hose & Pipe Co., Thompson and Knight Foundation, Grant Williams' Family.
Media sponsors include CBS Radio, WFAA/Channel 8, The Park Cities News/Waters Family, neighborsgo, Travelhost, The Coulter Group.
It’s not too late to purchase a hand-painted personalized railcar, a standard railcar is $175, a caboose is $225, a limited edition RMHD rail car is $275, and an engine is $325. Visit http://www.rmhdallas.org/railcar/ to place an online order.
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 27, 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 $6.00 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 as individuals or as a group for three-hour shifts, visit calendar.yahoo.com/rmhtrains to view availabilities, and email firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm your shift. Volunteers must be at least 15 years old without a parent, or 12-14 years old and accompanied by a parent.
About the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas:
Established in 1981, the House has served as a home-away-from-home for more than 33,000 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.rmhdallas.org/.