Kansas City Southern Holiday Express has raised more than $280,000 to benefit The Salvation Army in communities along the U.S. rail network. These communities include Kansas City and Slater, Mo.; East St. Louis, Ill.; Pittsburg, Kan.; Ashdown and Mena, Ark.; Poteau and Stilwell, Okla.; Houston, Laredo, Port Arthur, Victoria and Wylie, Texas; Baton Rouge, DeQuincy, Gonzalez and Shreveport, La.; and Corinth, Jackson, Meridian and Vicksburg, Miss.
“KCS is honored to celebrate 21 years of Holiday Express with a fundraiser for The Salvation Army in 21 communities,” said Patrick Ottensmeyer, president and CEO of Kansas City Southern. “As the pandemic continues, 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 help keep families in their homes and keep hope marching on for them into 2022.”
Sponsors include Bartlett; Deanne Porter and Patrick Ottensmeyer Family Foundation; Haverty Family Foundation; Husch Blackwell; Jane and Bob Durden; Jim and Janet Kennedy Charitable Trust and Google; Kansas City Southern Historical Society; Mi-Jack Products; RailPros; The Kansas City Southern Charitable Fund; Virginia Vollrath Hertenstein; Watco; and ZA Construction. A complete list of sponsors can be seen on the Kansas City Southern website.
Over 21 years, the charitable component of the KCS Holiday Express project has raised well over $2.6 million, which was donated to The Salvation Army at each scheduled train stop to help provide warm clothing and other necessities for children in need in the local community.
In the first 19 years, the KCS Holiday Express train stopped in 20 or more communities in five or six states between Thanksgiving and Christmas. At each stop, visitors could board the train, meet Santa and his elves and tour the inside of three cars of the festive six-car train. These events did not take place in 2020 or 2021 because of the pandemic.
–Dwight Widaman | Metro Voice