Popular Monroe train show benefits 4-H youth

MONROE — Ryan Aust is raising money for Snohomish County 4-H through his work on one of the state’s largest train shows in Monroe.

Aust and other members of the United Northwest Model Railroad Club are expecting 4,000 visitors at the train show. The event is scheduled at the Evergreen State Fairgrounds this weekend.

Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and those younger than 18. Children 9 and younger get in free. Proceeds benefit 4-H youth programs. This year, the two-day event is expected to raise at least $20,000, Aust said.

The club has raised more than $250,000 for charities and nonprofit groups over the past two decades. The local 4-H group has received about $20,000 from the annual show for the past 5 years. Aust said the train club decided to support Snohomish 4-H because its members help with the train show.

This year’s event is scheduled to feature 25 model train displays, 350 vendor tables, activities for children and how-to clinics. Railway historians Noel Holley, Martin Burwash and Robert Zenk will make presentations.

Aust has been volunteering to produce the Monroe event for 15 years. He said his father got him into model trains when he was young.

“My dad and I went to train shows from Longview to Seattle,” he said. “It’s kind of in my blood.”

Now, Aust is passing down the hobby to his 8-year-old son, Kyler. He said he works year-round to put on Monroe’s show to get others interested as well.

“We believe every kid should have a hobby,” Aust said. “We want them to come down and get involved.”

Amy Nile: 425-339-3192; anile@heraldnet.com.

The show

The show is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

For more information and an event schedule, go to www.unwclub.org/unwshow.

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