Celebrating over 30 years benefiting the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas (RMHD), 20 years at NorthPark Center and 10 years with presenting sponsor, Bank of Texas, The Trains at NorthPark is launching its 2018 season this weekend.
The official ribbon cutting ceremony will take place at 8:30 a.m. this Saturday, Nov. 17.
The Trains at NorthPark has helped raise more than $13 million for RMHD and has welcomed more than 70,000 visitors to NorthPark each year.
A beloved family tradition that runs until Jan. 6, 2019, The Trains at NorthPark is the largest miniature train exhibit in Texas with 1,600 feet of track and more than 750 railcars featuring the corporations, organizations, families, and individuals who make the seasonal attraction possible.
“This is such a special year for Ronald McDonald House of Dallas. After breaking ground on an $11.5 million expansion in September, and opening our first-ever offsite family room at Scottish Rite for Children in Frisco last month, we are now celebrating significant milestones with our two top supporters, NorthPark Center and Bank of Texas,” said Jill Cumnock, the chief executive officer of RMHD. “Their partnership has not only brought hope to the thousands of families we have served and millions of happy memories to the visitors that have experienced the magic of the exhibit over the years.”
Last year’s event helped provide over 4,000-night stays for families whose children were receiving essential medical care, including the family of the 2018 Kid Conductor, Gil McKoin, who stayed at the House after he underwent a life-saving heart transplant at Children’s Medical Center just ten weeks ago.
Gil and Ronald McDonald will cut the ribbon on this year’s exhibit.
“I had a vision about what the Ronald McDonald House was, but the reality blew me away – it really did become a home-away-from-home,” said Ginger McKoin, Gil’s adopted mother. “The whole experience was such a blessing for us. We received the food and board we needed, but we also enjoyed such a sense of community with all of the volunteers and other families dealing with challenges to their children’s health. We didn’t realize what wonderful things they were doing, and are so happy that Gil can now help increase awareness.”
Kris and Ginger McKoin welcomed Gil to their family of nine in January. Gil, who had a congenital heart defect, was the third special needs child the McKoins adopted from China.
This year, The Trains at NorthPark will be located on the 2nd level of the shopping center between Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus. Tickets for The Trains at NorthPark are $4 for children ages 2-12 and seniors over 65; adults are $7, while children under 2 are admitted for free.
The exhibit closes for Christmas and Thanksgiving, also closing early for both Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.