When one of the Carson City Railroad Association's board members embezzled nearly $2,500 in December, the organization faced adversity.
"It was hard to open our doors," said Shaun Cox, vice president of the association, who was appointed to a new board after the embezzler was asked to resign. "We had a hard time getting out of it so we were trying to get money to keep open."
Thanks to donors like Henry Laird, general manager of Sizzler, the organization remains functional.
Laird raffled off a Red Wolf Beer sign in late May, raising $450 for the Railroad Association to help with the upkeep of the Mills Park Train.
"I heard there was a chance that the association might lose their contract or not be able to pay their insurance," Laird said.
Laird said the thought of the train's elimination saddened him.
"I don't like to see something like this just go off and disappear," he said. "If something like a park or a parade were in jeopardy, I would donate to that."
Laird said he was disappointed that other companies did not follow his lead.
"I hope people will realize that we need to support the community as a whole," he said. "We should be applauding the efforts of the men in the association who spend countless hours on their own time."
Cox said the donation will help the organization help pay for two locomotives and four cars.
"It felt good and was a nice thing," Cox said. "We were touched that they thought of us. The community has really come through."
Bill Brunch bought $4 in raffle tickets to win the Red Wolf sign.
"I don't win too many things, but the proceeds were very beneficial so I thought, 'Hey, there's a chance,'" he said.
Brunch, 60, is retired after working for Nevada railroads for 15 years. He visits the Mills Park Train four to five times a year and was glad to contribute to the cause.
The train has operated since 1981. It runs Wednesday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Rides are $1.50 per person and children under 3 ride for free.
Cox said the association expected 1,000 to 2,000 riders during the Carson City Rendezvous this weekend.