Food City Donates $900 to Santa Train Scholarship
ABINGDON, VA (Thursday, March 3, 2011) - Throughout the 2010 holiday season, area Food City supermarkets once again featured the sale of a special children's book, entitled The Santa Train Tradition. Inspired by one of our region's most anticipated holiday traditions, the well crafted children's book was written by local author Leigh Anne W. Hoover of Kingsport, TN and beautifully illustrated by Carol Bates Murray.
The popular book made its debut during the 2008 Christmas season in Food City locations along the 110-mile route. In 2009, the book was reprinted with a new green cover and again offered for sale in 2010 at a retail of $11.99 in area Food City locations. The original red cover is now a limited edition.
The Santa Train Tradition tells the story of seven-year-old Ben Massey and his annual family tradition of walking to meet the Santa Train on the chilly Saturday morning before Thanksgiving.
"Capturing the essence of this renowned, Appalachian Christmas tradition in a children's book has been my privilege and my pleasure," said Hoover. "I hope that The Santa Train Tradition will become a treasured holiday keepsake for many families."
Earlier this week, Food City presented a check for the proceeds, which totaled $900 to representatives of the Kingsport Chamber Foundation to benefit the Santa Train Scholarship. Food City has donated in excess of $10,000 to the Santa Train Scholarship in the past three years through the sale of the book in participating stores.
"Food City is a locally owned and operated company. We live, work and educate our children in the areas where we operate. We're proud to have continued this opportunity to aid in the support of such a great tradition that benefits so many of our area children," said Steven C. Smith, Food City president/CEO.
Food City's Corporate Trainer, Ed Moore is a long-time participant in the annual Santa Train project, arranging contributions of over $150,000 in toys, candy and food each year. Ed recently received the Kingsport Chamber's distinguished Lifetime Member Award. The award goes to an individual who has made an enormous contribution to the Kingsport Chamber and the community throughout his or her lifetime.
"This generous presentation will go directly to your Kingsport Chamber's Santa Train Scholarship fund," said Burdine. "Each year a high school senior along the 110-mile route of the Santa Train is awarded a $5,000 college scholarship and we are most appreciative to Food City and CSX for their tremendous support of this effort."
Months before the Santa Train leaves the station, Moore is busy collecting, separating and packing donated toys and gifts, which are shipped from all-across the country in preparation for the much anticipated event. The weekend before Thanksgiving the Santa Train, loaded with toys for children of all ages, begins its yearly 110-mile track from Kingsport, Tennessee, winding its way through the mountains of the Southern Appalachians before returning to Kingsport.
Children flood each stop anxiously awaiting the train's arrival. Happy smiles light the faces of the children as they receive their special toy or gift. By the journey's end, over 15 tons of toys, food and gifts are distributed throughout the states of Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee.
"Seeing the children's faces light up as Santa distributes the gifts makes all of the work worth-while. The Santa Train seems to boost the Christmas spirit of everyone involved," says Moore.
For more information on The Santa Train Tradition visit www.thesantatraintradition.com. Headquartered in Abingdon, Food City operates 106 retail food outlets throughout the tri-state region of Southeast Kentucky, Southwest Virginia and Northeast Tennessee.
For continuous updates about the Santa Train, please visit the Kingsport Chamber on Facebook, Twitter and www.KingsportChamber.org. Find more on the Facebook fan page, The Santa Train and on Twitter @TheSantaTrain.