Pixel Tracker

Sunday, March 24 , 2019, 6:42 pm | Fair 60º


Next Stop, Santa Maria Valley Railroad Gala

Fundraiser proceeds will help acquire and restore a former Southern Pacific sugar-beet car

Steam locomotive 205 by George Lavacot was on display at the Santa Maria Fairpark.
Steam locomotive 205 by George Lavacot was on display at the Santa Maria Fairpark. (Santa Maria Valley Railroad)

The history of the Santa Maria Valley Railroad (SMVRR) will come to life at the annual Friends of the Santa Maria Valley Railroad Fundraising Gala, with presentations honoring those who have contributed to preserving the railroad’s past and present.

The gala takes place at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, May 20, in the Fountain Pavilion at the Santa Maria Fairpark, 937 S. Thornburg St.

It is the major fundraising event for the Friends of the Santa Maria Valley Railroad, and gives the nonprofit the opportunity to define the legacy the railroad has had in the community.

To define that legacy, the gala event will reach to the past and feature the restoration of SMVRR steam locomotive 205 by George Lavacot, which was on display for many years at the Santa Maria Fairpark.

Lavacot bought the 205 in 1983 and spent many years restoring the locomotive. It ran for the first time earlier this year.

SMVRR President Rob Himoto said the locomotive has undergone a remarkable return to its former glory.

“It’s exciting to see the restoration of this locomotive that has such fascinating ties to the Santa Maria Valley," Himoto said. "I’m proud to acknowledge the amazing amount of work Mr. Lavacot put into restoring this historical treasure.”

The Friends of the Santa Maria Valley Railroad will honor Lavacot with the G. Allan Hancock Historical Preservation Award.

In addition, Santa Maria Valley Railroad representatives will present the Railroad Public Safety Award to an outstanding citizen who has promoted public safety. The evening will include a History of the Friends Presentation, and a silent auction.

Fundraising proceeds will go toward acquiring and restoring a former Southern Pacific sugar-beet car and to acquire other historical artifacts and equipment.

Dinner includes tri-tip, chicken or ribs catered by Cool Hand Luke’s.

Cost is $75 per person, $600 for a reserved table of eight. Checks can be made to Friends of the Santa Maria Valley Railroad. For more information, visit http://www.friends-smvrr.org.

— Shelly Cone for Santa Maria Fairpark.


Support Noozhawk Today!

Our professional journalists work tirelessly to report on local news so you can be more informed and engaged in your community. This quality, local reporting is free for you to read and share, but it's not free to produce.

You count on us to deliver timely, relevant local news, 24/7. Can we count on you to invest in our newsroom and help secure its future?

We provide special member benefits to show how much we appreciate your support.

I would like give...
Great! You're joining as a Red-Tailed Hawk!
  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.