Train garden makes a stop at Glen Burnie Mall before raffle


December 17, 1997|By Bonita Formwalt | Bonita Formwalt,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

SHOPPERS AT Glen Burnie Mall will note that the stores are busy, the parking lots full and the trains are running on time. The mall is the next to the last stop for a train garden that will be raffled to benefit the North County Emergency Outreach Network.

A coalition of churches and community groups, NCEON provides year-round assistance to needy people living in the North County area. The winning ticket will be drawn at 8 p.m. Tuesday. This is the sixth year for the train raffle.

The 4-foot-by-6-foot design, which includes scenery, transformers and five separate train sets, is the result of months of planning and building by members of Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Pasadena. Hundreds of volunteers are involved in the project, from designing it to selling raffle tickets at the mall, says Margaret Pugh, a church member and treasurer for NCEON. The construction of the garden took place in the basement of her Pasadena home.

"We started in February, meeting once a week," recalled Pugh. Volunteers who helped build the train garden were Frank McDonald -- "Our chief engineer," says Pugh -- John Quasney, John Meister, Jeff Adler, John Halajko, Gene Riebel, Ted Dzielski, George Fornoff, Phil Weinreich and his son, Matt, and Charles and Kathy Miller and their children, Matt and Chris.

Completed in October, the garden is on display in the center of the mall in front of Dick's Clothing and Sporting Goods.

Construction completed, it's now up to Pugh and fellow Emmanuel member Pat Fornoff to schedule volunteers to operate the trains and sell the tickets from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily (1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday) through Tuesday.

"We've accumulated a list of volunteers over the years," said Pugh. "Originally we called the churches who are covenant members of NCEON and asked them.

"Now people hear about it through word of mouth."

In addition to those from Emmanuel Lutheran, volunteers come from organizations such as John Wesley United Methodist Church on Ritchie Highway in Glen Burnie, the Pascal Senior Center on Dorsey Road in Glen Burnie and a sixth-grade class from St. John's Lutheran Church in Brooklyn. Enthusiasm for the project brings many volunteers back year after year.

Tickets are available through the drawing on Tuesday for $1 each or seven for $5.

Information: 410-255-6665.

Pub Date: 12/17/97

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