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KCS announces 20th anniversary Holiday Express fundraising results to date

(Source: Kansas City Southern press release, December 1, 2020)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City Southern (KCS) announced in September that it would celebrate the 20th anniversary of its KCS Holiday Express program and partnership with The Salvation Army with a fundraiser to benefit the Salvation Army in 20 communities on its U.S. rail network. To date this year, the KCS Holiday Express project has raised $148,115 for this cause. The company is now issuing a challenge grant to raise even more.

“This year, contributions from the KCS Holiday Express project to The Salvation Army in 20 communities on our rail network are more important than ever,” said KCS president and CEO Patrick J. Ottensmeyer. “That’s why on this Giving Tuesday, I am proud to announce that KCS will donate $2 for every $1 raised by the Holiday Express project, up to an additional $100,000, between November 28 and December 15, 2020. Help us help The Salvation Army rescue Christmas for families in need.”

The 20 communities that will receive the funds raised for The Salvation Army include Kansas City, Joplin and Mexico, Mo., Beaumont, Corpus Christi, Dallas, Houston, Laredo and Port Arthur, Texas, Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Shreveport and Westlake, La., Gulfport, Jackson and Vicksburg, Miss., Decatur, Ark., East St. Louis, Ill., Pittsburg, Kan. and Heavener, Okla.

Special thanks to our major sponsors to date who have gotten us to the contribution level mentioned earlier. These sponsors include Bartlett, a Savage Company; Deanne Porter and Patrick Ottensmeyer Family Foundation; Elkay Manufacturing; Kansas City Southern Historical Society; Lockton Companies; Michael and Marlys Haverty Family Foundation; Wabtec Corporation; Watco Companies; and Wilkinson, Carmody & Gilliam. A complete list of sponsors can be seen here on the KCS website. It is not too late for your contribution to be recognized and for you to be listed among these generous individuals and organizations.

Over 19 years, the charitable component of the KCS Holiday Express project has raised well over $2.1 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. Anyone interested in making a tax-deductible contribution to the 2020 KCS Holiday Express fundraising campaign may do so at http://www.salarmy.us/HolidayExpress

The KCS Holiday Express was built on the tradition of the Santa Train that ran on a segment of the network bought by KCS in 1997. In 2000, a group of warm-hearted KCS employees noticed that the Santa Train was the only Christmas some kids had, and that some kids did not have essential items like coats, hats and gloves, so they committed to elevating the project. In 2001, volunteers transformed a retired freight train to the KCS Holiday Express experience that thousands have enjoyed for the past 19 years. In 2020, we honor one of the founding volunteer elves, Tillie Caileff, who was integral to the program’s success, and who passed away earlier this year.

In each of the past 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 will not take place in 2020 due to the pandemic.

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

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