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May 4 - Special Event in Marceline, MO - Walt Disney (Museum Recap)

The Lionel Collectors Club of America was in Marceline, MO, the hometown of Walt Disney on May 4 for an all-day celebration of the Disney legacy at the Walt Disney Hometown Museum, BNSF locomotive and train car exhibits, and the Second Annual Model Train Show and Sale. Despite snow and rain conditions, several hundred people attend this fun, family oriented event.

Marceline MO. is the childhood hometown of Walt Disney.  According to Walt Disney, his best child hood memories occurred while he lived in Marceline MO.  Walt was inspired by life in Marceline so much, he modeled the Main streets of Disneyland in Anaheim CA and Disney World near Orlando FL after Marceline's main street. During our event, guests could continuously watch a Disney classic movie, the Great Train Chase in the historic movie theater on Main Street Marceline.

Members attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the Marceline Santa Fe station, viewed story exhibits in the refurbished Santa Fe Lunch Room, and heard the stories that connect Walt Disney to Marceline and his love for railroading. Our members also enjoyed a private, special guided tour conducted by Kaye Malins of the Museum.  When Kaye was a young girl growing up in Marceline, she met Walt Disney when he visited there.  In fact, Walt Disney was an over-night guest at her parent's home.  It is not well known, but Walt Disney was having people buy up property near Marceline MO with the intentions to develop it into another unique Disney tourist attraction. Unfortunately, Walt Disney became ill and passed away before this dream of his could be realized.

Guests enjoyed walking through a new BNSF state- of-the-art locomotive, the historically significant Santa Fe Coach Car that carried President Eisenhower's body to his final resting place in Kansas, and an observation car from the Santa Fe fleet.

As part of the commemorative ceremony, LCCA's Al Kolis, Immediate Past-President & Special Events Manager presented Kaye Malins of the Walt Disney Hometown Museum with a LCCA gift, a NS Switcher engine from our 2012 Convention in Norfolk VA.  There is a long and storied history between Walt Disney and Lionel Trains.  Walt Disney and Joshua Lionel Cowen were personal friends.   During the Great depression of the 1930's,  Walt Disney let Lionel produce a Mickey & Minni Mouse hand car set that Lionel sold for $1/each.  The strong sales of this hand car set is credited with saving Lionel from bankruptcy.  Lionel survived the depression and was able to continue to produce and sell toy trains because of this licensing agreement between Lionel and Walt Disney.

Inside of the Walsworth Community Center, a Train Show was held with a vast selection of railroad memorabilia and model trains for sale.  LCCA members were able to meet with club volunteer Keith Marquis of Independence MO at the LCCA table.  Keith provided members in attendance with LCCA Special Events pins and un-cut LCCA billboard sheets.  LCCA President Dennis DeVito developed these collectible items as a way to express our sincere appreciation to our members for their support and participation. This is all part of President Dennis DeVito's and the BOD's plan to reach out and have direct contact with 2200 LCCA members this year.

Our sincere thanks to club volunteer Keith Marquis, all of our LCCA members who attended and Kay Malins of the Walt Disney Hometown Museum.   Thank you Marceline MO for the great welcome and all of the genuine,  Mid-western hospitality you extended to all of our members.  Thank you!  We hope to see all of you at future LCCA Special Events!

Al Kolis
Immediate Past President and Special Events Manager