PITTSBURG, Kan. — The Kansas City Southern Holiday Express did not roll down the tracks for the second consecutive year noting the pandemic. However, there are still needs in communities along the route the train normally chugs during Christmastime.
KCS President and CEO Patrick J. Ottensmeyer announces that $280,000 has been raised this year in fundraising for The Salvation Army. The monies benefit 21 communities on its U.S. rail network, including Pittsburg, Kan.
“We are grateful to the Kansas City Southern for helping us fund our program which ensures that each child and adult will have a wonderful and Merry Christmas. We would like to say to Kansas City Southern and the many supporters, thank you so much.” — Maj. Eric Johnson, Pittsburg, Kan. Corps.
The KCS Holiday Express began in 2001, when a group of warm-hearted volunteers invested more than 8,000 hours to transform retired rail cars into a smiling tank car named Rudy; a flatcar carrying Santa’s sleigh, reindeer and a miniature village; a gingerbread boxcar; the elves’ workshop; a reindeer stable; and a little red caboose. When it rolls into towns like Joplin, Mo. and Pittsburg, Kan. it usually draws large crowds.
“In this pandemic, the fastest increasing area of need is for families who will be unable to pay their rent or mortgages and face eviction. The donations The Salvation Army will receive through the KCS Holiday Express will keep families in their homes and keep hope marching on for them into 2022,” states Major Kelly Collins of The Salvation Army Kansas and Western Missouri in a media release.
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