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Activities planned for Orphan Train Rider event

The National Orphan Train Complex in Concordia will host the 17th Annual Celebration of Orphan Train Riders May 30 through June 1.
Pre-registration for the event is currently taking place. Those interested in registering can call the museum at 785-243-4471 on Tuesday through Saturday or check the Event tab on the website at
Anyone wanting to register for the entire celebration should do so by Friday.
Other than three ticketed meals, all events are free and open to the public.
The celebration will begin with a Sneak Peak on May 30 from 7-9 p.m. at the museum, 300 Washington St.
Events begin on May 31 with a welcome at 8:30 a.m. at the museum and a ribbon cutting ceremony for the Train Station at 9 a.m.
National Orphan Train Complex (NOTC) curator Shaley George will have a presentation on donors in New York City who helped influence the Orphan Train movement from 1864-1929 at 10:15 a.m.
A presentation on local placement committees formed and utilized by the Children's Aid Society during the placing out process by NOTC head researcher is scheduled for 1:15 p.m.
Suzanne Pitzer, a Concordia native, will have a public reading of her new children's book “Mable and Elky Ride the Orphan Train” at 2:30 p.m. That will be followed by book sales and signings.
There will be an Orphan Train Rider Statue unveiling at the Central National Bank pocket park at the corner of Eighth and Lincoln at 4 p.m.
Two statues will be unveiled at the Cloud County Tourism Office at 6 p.m., followed by a party and statue tours.
Events on June 1 will be at the Nazareth Motherhouse auditorium.
Keynote speaker Kris Erickson, San Diego, Calif., will share the details of his grandmother Mable Gummersell's ride on the Orphan Train.
There will be a forum-style discussion featuring other descendants of the Orphan Train riders at 10:45 a.m.
The three ticketed events during the celebration are the Sneak Peek on May 30, a lunch at the Nazareth Motherhouse on June 1 from noon until 1:15 p.m. and the President's Award Banquet on June 1 at 6:30 p.m.
George will toast the “Happy 105th Birthday” to the New York Founding Hospital at 1:30 p.m.
The celebration is made possible by major underwriting provided by Cloud County Tourism and Robert F. Summers II, Norman, Okla. Additional underwriting is provided by the Catholic Thrift Shop, Gary and Joan Fraser, Central National Bank, Citizens National Bank, Concordia Auto Mart, Elk State Bank and Cunningham Telephone and Cable.
The First National Bank of Hope, Miltonvale, and Rolling Hills Electric, Beloit, also provided underwriting.


Concordia Blade-Empire

510 Washington St.
Concordia, KS 66901