Fundraising efforts moving full steam ahead for Colebrookedale Railroad

Photo by Hilda Hynes The 'Track Gang': Leonard Shatner. Jr, Stephen Hladio, Tyler Schumacher and Chris Zabaska.

On Thursday, Aug. 7, Colebrookdale Railroad enthusiasts filled Rita’s parking lot to enjoy cold treats on a hot summer afternoon with a portion of the events profits going to the railroad. Bringing a historic line such as the Secret Valley back to life after decades of neglect will take thousands, even millions. However, for those who believe the line will breathe new life into Boyertown, supporting the fundraising efforts is just one of the many ways to be a part of making it happen.

This is why when it comes to fundraising, members of the Colebrookdale Preservation Trust waste no time planning the next big event.

Working in collaboration with other local businesses, the Trust invites everyone out for a silent auction, evening of entertainment at the Historic State Theatre followed by refreshments at the Other Farms Brewery on Friday, Sept. 26.

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Kevin Rhude, owner of the State Theatre, explains the evening will feature live entertainment from a big band group out of New York treating attendees of the event to sounds of the roaring twenties before the lights go down and a twelve minute short film created by Thomas Edison rolls on the big screen.

The historic film titled “The Great Train Robbery,” certainly seems the most fitting reel for the promotion of the rails. Open to the public, general admission will be offered the night of the event with tickets being sold for twenty-five dollars at the door, but if you want to ensure your name is on this guest list you can purchase tickets in advance for only eighteen. Visit the Statetheatreboyertown.com for purchasing information.

The fundraiser will then move just down the road to the Other Farm’s Brewing Company, with the evening’s festivities ending with the sharing of a cold one, handcrafted and brewed right here in the heart of Boyertown.

Just as exciting as the next big fundraiser is the progress being made on the passenger cars. While partaking in the many water ice flavors, volunteers presented pictures of the interior from one of the cars currently being refurbished. They joked about the folks who would be crazy enough to paint over the mahogany wood working that lies beneath layers of old worn paint.

One of those volunteers was Tyler Schumacher, Pottsgrove senior high school student. While spending an entire summer stripping away old paint may be seen by some teens as punishment, Schumacher explains his love of the railroads was instilled in him at a very young age by his grandfather and this work is a little like treasure hunting.

“The third floor of my grandfather’s home was dedicated to trains, I was always around them. Trains are just in my blood. I feel like an archeologist discovering history when I scrape away the old paint.”

For those envious of Schumacher’s treasure hunting, perhaps the silent auction to be held during the Vintage Film Fundraiser would be just the ticket. If however you have a wealth of treasures and could spare a few, then consider donating an item to be auctioned off with all proceeds going to support the C.R.R. To do so, please contact member of the Colebrookdale Railroad Preservation Trust at 610-367-0200.