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Toy Trains Raise Money for Dallas Ronald McDonald House

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Colorful toy trains in North Park Center in Dallas | Image by NBC DFW

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Colorful toy trains in North Park Center in Dallas are raising money for the Ronald McDonald House, reported NBC DFW.

The various trains are meant to highlight different areas from around the country.

“It’s a lot of the landmarks in the U.S. You get to see a little bit of everything, and of course, a lot of Dallas landmarks,” Jill Cumnock, Ronald McDonald House of Dallas CEO, said to NBC DFW.

The trains, which were first launched in 1987, have raised more than $18 million for the Dallas Ronald McDonald House, a home-away-from-home for the families of seriously ill children undergoing treatment in the hospital.

This year’s toy train exhibit was launched on Saturday.

One of this year’s honorary kid conductors is Vasco Castaneda.

“I played with Ronald and we played with trains,” Castaneda said.

Castaneda has been coming to the Ronald McDonald House for more than six years and came originally from Peru. He has had many surgeries but became a fixture at the Ronald McDonald House, experiencing many milestones such as birthdays, first steps, and first words.

“The first time the family stayed with us was for nine months, and right before that, mom and dad got married at the Ronald McDonald House,” Cumnock said.

The trains at North Park Center are the largest miniature train exhibit in North Texas, featuring more than 700 cars and bringing in more than 50,000 visitors, according to North Texas E-News.

“It’s exciting. It’s special with us, the Ronald McDonald House,” Antuane Gonzales, Castaneda’s mom, said.

The Ronald McDonald House in Dallas is 78,000 square feet with 77 private bedrooms, six extended-stay suites, and six transplant apartments, according to its website. It also contains playrooms for kids of all ages and varying interests, a library, a media room, a craft room, outdoor play areas, and a meditation garden.

The Ronald McDonald House in Dallas said it has served more than 40,000 families.

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