KANSAS CITY, Mo.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Kansas City Southern (KCS) (NYSE: KSU) announced today that the 20th anniversary KCS Holiday Express program in partnership with The Salvation Army has raised over $277,000 to benefit The Salvation Army in 20 communities on its U.S. rail network. Those communities 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.
“The Salvation Army tells us that the need has always been there, and this year, it’s greater than ever, which is why I’m so pleased that the KCS is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Holiday Express project by supporting The Salvation Army in 20 communities on our rail network,” said KCS president and CEO Patrick J. Ottensmeyer. “The KCS Holiday Express project, combined with gifts earlier in the year to United Way for COVID relief, gifts to the American Red Cross for hurricane relief, and donations of medical equipment in Mexico, bring KCS’ charitable giving for 2020 to well over $1 million for these efforts combined.”
Special thanks to our major KCS Holiday Express sponsors, including Bartlett, a Savage Company; Deanne Porter and Patrick Ottensmeyer Family Foundation; Elkay Manufacturing; Kansas City Southern Historical Society; Lockton Companies; Lynn and Michael Upchurch; Michael and Marlys Haverty Family Foundation; The Kansas City Southern Charitable Fund; Virginia Vollrath Hertenstein; Wabtec Corporation; Watco Companies; and Wilkinson, Carmody & Gilliam. A complete list of sponsors can be seen here on the KCS website.
Over 20 years, the charitable component of the KCS Holiday Express project has raised well over $2.3 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 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.
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.
Headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., KCS is a transportation holding company that has railroad investments in the U.S., Mexico and Panama. Its primary U.S. holding is The Kansas City Southern Railway Company, serving the central and south central U.S. Its international holdings include Kansas City Southern de Mexico, S.A. de C.V., serving northeastern and central Mexico and the port cities of Lázaro Cárdenas, Tampico and Veracruz, and a 50 percent interest in Panama Canal Railway Company, providing ocean-to-ocean freight and passenger service along the Panama Canal. KCS’ North American rail holdings and strategic alliances with other North American rail partners are primary components of a unique railway system, linking the commercial and industrial centers of the U.S., Mexico and Canada.