Old 11-04-2005, 02:23 AM   #1
J. E. Landrum
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Default CSX Santa Special on the Former Clinchfield

From csx.com

Naomi Judd Joins CSX and the Kingsport Chamber for the 63rd Annual Santa Special

Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Naomi Judd and special guests will be on board with Santa Claus for the 63rd annual CSX Transportation-Kingsport Area Chamber of Commerce Santa Special.

The CSX train, filled with 15 tons of gifts secured by grocery store chain Food City, will kick off the holiday season on Saturday, Nov. 19, by traveling 110 miles through Appalachia with Santa and his helpers distributing gifts throughout the region.

Originally from Ashland, Ky., Judd says she is proud of her Kentucky heritage and is looking forward to sharing the Christmas spirit with communities in the Appalachia region.

"CSX is honored to have Naomi Judd on board this year. Her presence will bring additional excitement and help us make the holidays brighter for hundreds of families in the area," said Michael J. Ward, CSX chairman, president and CEO. "CSX is proud to carry on this more than half-century-old tradition because it's our special way of giving back to the communities we pass through each day."

Elaine Bodenweiser, interim executive vice president and CEO of the Kingsport Chamber, agreed. "The Santa Special is the Chamber's way of connecting with the surrounding communities. Kingsport merchants appreciate the opportunity to thank the communities for their business each year. We also appreciate the support CSX and Food City have shown for this wonderful project. Having Naomi along is certainly an added bonus."

For 13 years, Food City, of Abingdon, Va., has solicited donations of toys, candy, clothes and money, and at least 50 employees work on the project each year. Last year, Food City received more than 160 individual contributions from across the U.S. and Canada, as well as 50 corporate donations.

The generosity of people and organizations has allowed the Kingsport Chamber to establish a scholarship fund. Each year, one or two graduating high school seniors living along the train's route receive a four-year, $5,000 college scholarship. Since 1989, 20 students have been awarded scholarships.

The train will travel to 15 towns beginning in Shelby, Ky., with stops in Marrowbone and Elkhorn, Ky., and the Virginia communities of Toms Bottom, Haysi, Clinchco, Fremont, Dante, St. Paul, Dungannon, Ft. Blackmore, Speers Ferry, Kermit and Waycross, before arriving in Kingsport.

Naomi Judd, best known for her duets with daughter Wynonna, is the author of her third children's book, Gertie the Goldfish and the Christmas Surprise, which will be distributed at the train stops. Her new show, "Naomi's New Morning," will premiere on the Hallmark Channel on Sunday, Nov. 27.

The Kingsport Area Chamber of Commerce is a membership organization focusing resources and efforts to enhance the Kingsport-area business environment. The Kingsport Chamber has been accredited by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for 25 years. People interested in supporting the Santa Special through funds, new toys or new clothes may send their donations to the Kingsport Area Chamber of Commerce, attention: Santa Special, 151 East Main Street, Kingsport, TN 37660.

CSX Corporation, based in Jacksonville, Fla., owns companies providing rail, intermodal and rail-to-truck transload services that are among the nation's leading transportation companies, connecting 70 river, ocean and lake ports, as well as more than 200 shortline railroads. Its principal operating company, CSX Transportation Inc., operates the largest railroad in the eastern United States with a 22,000-mile rail network linking commercial markets in 23 states, the District of Columbia, and two Canadian provinces. CSX Intermodal Inc. is a stand-alone integrated intermodal company serving customers with its own truck and terminal operations plus a dedicated domestic container fleet. More information about CSX Corporation and its subsidiaries is available at the company's web site, www.csx.com.
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Old 11-04-2005, 02:50 AM   #2
Ru1056
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Sounds neat. Just one thing. Can we replace Naomi with Ashley?
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Last edited by Ru1056; 11-04-2005 at 02:54 AM.
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