Before the Trains at NorthPark opens in all its holiday glory on November 22, the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas thanked sponsors and donors at the home of Len Critcher.
Each year brings exciting additions, and the group of almost 100 —including Regen Fearon, Tia Wynne, Bob White, Jamie Singer and Jill Cumnock — raised a glass to this year’s changes, which include a new location, level one near Nordstrom, and new Perot Museum and Dallas skyline exhibits.
Although all chairs have a personal connection to the Ronald McDonald House, honorary chair Dr. Jeffrey Fearon really put things into perspective. When Fearon’s sister was young and very ill, she visited Boston Children’s, where there was no RMH, and he personally remembers how hard it was for his mother to stay in a hotel by herself.
Through his practice as a craniofacial surgeon, he sees plenty of patients, many of whom stay at the RHH. He finally decided as a family that he and his wife needed to take their twins and visit this place to experience it for themselves.
“I was taken by the humanity of the people feeding families at Ronald McDonald House,” Fearon said. “The amount of stress that the house reduces is enormous.”
Since 1987, the Trains at NorthPark has raised money for the children and families served by the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas. Currently this annual event provides the funds for almost one-third of RMHD’s annual operating budget.
The most elaborate toy trains exhibit in Texas, the Trains at NorthPark includes trains rolling across 1,600 feet of track on a journey across America. Cityscapes include downtown Dallas, with the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge; the State Fair of Texas and the Cotton Bowl; New York City’s Times Square and Grand Central Terminal; Washington, D.C., with The White House; and San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, among other highlights.
The exhibit encompasses more than 4,000 square feet of train-themed environments, complete with steam engine and coach cars, ticket booth, train station, and interactive features. More than 50,000 people visit the Trains at NorthPark each season as part of their holiday tradition.
Tickets are $7 for adults, $3 for children (ages 2 to 12) and senior citizens (65 and older), and free for children under 2. Discount tickets for $1 off regular admission are available at Tom Thumb. The exhibit runs from November 22 to January 4.