Just a few blocks away from Melissa and Trevor Fetter‘s party for the Silver Supper Announcement party on Tuesday, November 3, Kacy and Carter Tolleson opened their home for The Trains At NorthPark patron party benefiting the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas. Here’s a report from the field:
Before The Trains at NorthPark opens on Saturday, November 21, the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas feted the supporters of this holiday tradition at Kacy and Carter Tolleson’s home. As guests arrived, Smooth Brew, a barbershop quartet, surprised and delighted the 100 guests.
The most elaborate miniature toy trains exhibit in Texas, The Trains at NorthPark includes locomotives rolling across multiple tracks on a journey across America marked by memorable landmarks. New this year will be Mount Rushmore that features Thomas the Train and his friends. Also new is the location, which will be on Level Two next to Nordstrom.
Thousands of visitors enjoy The Trains at NorthPark each season, which is one of Dallas’ most cherished family holiday traditions. Since 1987, the event has raised nearly a third of the operating budget for the children and families served by the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas.
Ronald McDonald House of Dallas CEO Jill Cumnock welcomed guests. “Thank you, Kacy and Carter, for hosting us in your beautiful home. We also want to thank Carolyn and Dr. Karl Rathjen as our honorary co-chairs. Dr. Rathjen is assistant chief of staff, director of pediatric orthopedic services, Children’s Health℠, and president of the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children Foundation. He’s treated many children who have stayed at the House.”
Cumnock introduced April Cook and Jennifer Tobin. April has been involved with the House for 15 years as a Young Friend and as Trains railcar chair. She’s taken her young sons to the exhibit and has amassed a collection of railcars for them. Tobin has been involved with the nonprofit through the Junior League of Dallas and has taken her young daughter to the exhibit while starting a family collection of railcars.
April said, “Thank you for all the committee members and Co-Chairs-Elect Annika Cail and Sarah Friedman. Thank you to Sponsor Party Co-Chairs Lindy Berkley and Kacy Tolleson for planning tonight’s beautiful event.”
Jennifer added, “We’re thankful for NorthPark hosting The Trains for the past 17 years. Thank you Bank of Texas, for all you do for Ronald McDonald House of Dallas. There are several people here tonight with Bank of Texas including Pat Brockette, who is senior vice president, manager Commercial Banking. We also have Jacquie Donovan, Rex Lofland, Nathan Jacks and Margaret Thomann. We truly could not put on this event without Bank of Texas’ help, and we hope that you’ll continue your support next year.”
Pat spoke next. “Bank of Texas has been the presenting sponsor of The Trains at NorthPark, for the past seven years, and we’re involved because we believe in the important work that the House does caring for families during a difficult time in their lives. Our bank’s holiday party at The Trains for our employees and families is by far the largest with nearly 500 people.”
Karl added his thoughts about the House. “There’s not a day that goes by when I don’t see someone who’s staying at the House. The House does a good job of providing a place to stay, three meals, but most importantly, the healing that happens. It’s transformational what the House does, and we’re thankful to be a part of it.”
After these remarks, people continued sipping adult beverages and sampling the hors d’oeuvres created by Eating Royally/Darren McGrady, including: chicken fried quail with chili buttermilk dressing; lobster Mac and cheese balls; blue corn pancakes with smoked, pulled pork, jalapeño cream cheese and peach jelly; Stilton and walnut shortbread with goat cheese and grilled pears; and Chimichuri flank steak tostados with black beans and sour cream.
Ways to support The Trains at NorthPark:
- Sponsorship: — The Trains at NorthPark offers sponsorship opportunities to individuals, businesses, community organizations and schools. For those interested, contact Chief Development Officer Diane Fullingim.
Hand-painted railcars are available to purchase, and they can be personalized. 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.thetrainsatnorthpark.com/ to place an online order.
Sponsors are able to attend The Trains at NorthPark Sneak Peek party on Saturday, November 21, 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Held before the exhibit opens to the public, this event is a favorite for sponsors and their children who get to be the first to see the trains roll into Dallas.
- Volunteer — More than 2,000 volunteers are needed to run the trains. For those interested in volunteering as individuals or as a group to work three-hour shifts, 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.