Submitted by Jerry Hale

The SML Model Railroad Group’s annual Charity Chug model train open house, benefiting Lake Christian Ministries’ “A Child’s Christmas,” will return for its 12th consecutive year on Dec. 14 with a display at Trinity Ecumenical Parish in Moneta, as well as three home layouts.

“Last year was the first time we consolidated several operating layouts at TEP and added a number of hands-on kids’ activities and informative displays,” said Rod Savage, event organizer. “Visitors liked finding so much to enjoy at one location, highly accessible even to families with small children. We’re expanding on that well-received approach this year.”

Operating model trains at Trinity will include a display installed by the Lynchburg N-Scale Group, an HO display by Roanoke Valley Model Rail Group, a G-Scale loop under the Christmas tree, a large scale display, a kids-can-run-it O-gauge layout and two setups that will be sold to highest bidders.

A white elephant table will offer railroading treasures, including several new-in-the-box HO locomotives. A children’s activities table also will be set up.

Educational sessions will include selected modeling skills and an operating steam engine. Videos, some of area model railroads operating, will also be shown, and several museum-quality home layouts will be open to visitors.

Charity Chug hours will be from 10 a.m to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 14 (and include a visit from Santa from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.).

Admission is free but donations to A Child’s Christmas are encouraged. Sandwiches, snacks and beverages will be available, with proceeds jointly benefiting LCM and the TEP Youth Group’s 2020 Mission Project.

Trinity Ecumenical Parish is at 40 Lakemount Drive, Moneta.

For more information, visit or call 721-7222.

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