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The Jimmy Marlega Story

We had a rather unique experience at Trainfest 2008. There was a father and son team that was enthralled by the train layouts. The 6 year old boy, Jimmy Malega, just loved the trains he kept circling the layout trying to pace with the trains. He had a smile from ear to ear and his energy seemed boundless. His father mentioned that the Jimmy was suffering from Spinal Bifida and would be going into the hospital in the near future. He would undergo spinal surgery and be in a body cast from the waist down for about three months. A few of our members retold and discussed the story of Jimmy with others. Wouldn’t it be great if he had his own train set? Wil Holt was quite touched with this little boy’s condition and discussed many of the details of Jimmy’s health with his father.

At this year’s Fall S Fest an announcement was made that BSG was taking up a collection for Jimmy and his condition was indicated. A can was set up at the registration desk for donations to be placed in. A total of $112.00 was collected. With the cooperation of Don Thompson of S-Helper Service plus cash donations from the Badgerland S Gaugers, the Chicago Area S Gaugers and the money taken in at Fall S Fest, an S Gauge set was purchased for Jimmy.

On Sunday, December 14th, Jeff Young, Dave Smukowski and Rich Eveleth visited Jimmy at his home and presented him with his with his new train set and a Badgerland S Gaugers cap. They then set up the set under his Christmas tree. He will now have a train set of his own to enjoy as he recovers from surgery.

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