Lucky Rail Run Train Crawl Saturday raises funds for veterans
A chance to ride the rails and consume some cocktails while lending a helping hand to veterans is coming up Saturday, March 7, when TLS Veterans presents its second annual Lucky Rail Run Train Crawl.
Riders can board the Metra UP Northwest line as far south as Arlington Heights and follow the route all the way up to Crystal Lake, stopping to visit a total of five bars along the way.
"All of the bars are right along the Metra, which makes it so fun," said Laura Franz, executive director of TLS Veterans, a nonprofit organization with offices in McHenry.
Franz said proceeds will benefit the agency's veteran services. Last year, she said, the organization provided assistance to more than 1,000 veterans in northern Illinois and Kenosha, Wisconsin.
"We have been around since 1996. We are an agency that has eight different programs that help veterans in need. Our focus is on helping veterans who need a hand up with housing, counseling, employment, and basics like food and furniture," she said.
Franz said the event is aimed at raising awareness of TLS Veterans and the help available through the organization.
"Our services are free. We have a food pantry on-site. It's hard to ask for help. There are a lot of people out there who are struggling and people have no idea. Most of our staff are veterans. Come see us. We'll give you a hand up," she said.
Franz said the train crawl was inaugurated last year as way to shore up shortfalls in the agency's grant funding.
"The first quarter of the year is the hardest time to raise funds," she said.
Passengers on the crawl will be joined on the train by the Thompson Duo, a husband-and-wife musical team who will perform live. There also will be raffle prizes awarded during the rail trip.
The festivities begin at 11 a.m. with check-in at Eddie's Restaurant and Lounge, 10 E. Northwest Hwy., Arlington Heights. The train will then stop at JL's Pizza and Sports Bar, 19 N. Bothwell St. in Palatine; moving on to the Yankee Doodle Inn, 311 E. Main St. in Barrington; The Tracks Bar and Grill, 108 W. Main St., Cary; and finally chugging in to a stop at Matt's Tavern, 92 Railroad St., Crystal Lake.
Franz said participants can join the crawl at any point during the journey north.
The cost for the crawl is $20 per person. Franz said a special discounted train fare for participants, a new feature this year, will take riders from Arlington Heights to Crystal Lake for $5.
All participants will receive a commemorative T-shirt and a crawl mug, she said. Participants must be at least 21 years old.
• • •
TLS Veterans' second annual Lucky Rail Run Train Crawl
When: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, March 7
Where: Metra UP Northwest train line, from Arlington Heights to Crystal Lake
Cost: $20 per person