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Letter: Holiday Train surpasses goal

The Canadian Pacific Holiday Train made its sixth annual stop in Cottage Grove on Friday, Dec. 12 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. The Canadian Pacific Railroad estimated the crowd at 6,000 strong. The Holiday Train Committee decided to be realistic, with the state of the economy, and set a monetary goal of $30,000, but the generosity of so many people helped us raise approximately $50,000 and 10,000 pounds of food and toys! All proceeds go directly to the Friends in Need Food Shelf in St. Paul Park, which supports our community.

The young and the old came out to watch the festively lit train arrive in Cottage Grove and to watch and listen to Santa sing and dance in the stage car. Canadian singers, Melanie Doane and Shaun Verreault entertained the crowd with some holiday and bluegrass music. The 2,000 Glo-Sticks were a huge hit again this year and the singers were impressed with our light show. Hot cocoa, coffee and cookies were served (free of charge) and Holiday Train ornaments were sold, with all proceeds going to the Friends in Need Food Shelf.

We are truly blessed to have the opportunity of the Holiday Train stop in Cottage Grove, especially since it is now the largest fundraiser for the Friends in Need Food Shelf. The Holiday Train stop in Cottage Grove was the largest stop in Canada and the U.S in attendance and monetary donations! Without YOUR support, this event would not be possible. It is impossible to thank everyone, but to all of you who opened up your hearts and your pocketbooks, the Holiday Train Committee and the Friends in Need Food Shelf say thank you!

Mary Slusser

Cottage Grove