By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Nov 09, 2020 at 10:04 AM

While you can’t experience the CP Rail Holiday Train in person this year, you can still help the organizers raise funds for a good cause via a virtual concert to be streamed on the CP Facebook page at 7 p.m. on Dec. 12.

Thanks to the everything-ruining pandemic, the train won’t ride the rails through the Milwaukee area (including Tosa Village) in December, by Canadian Pacific (CP) will donate to food banks along its route and host a virtual concert.

The concert will feature performances by Serena Ryder, The Trews, JoJo Mason, Logan Staats and Kelly Prescott.

“COVID-19 has created many challenges for communities across our network and has only increased the need at local food banks and food shelves,” said CP President and Chief Executive Officer Keith Creel in a statement.

“It is our honor to continue to donate to communities across our network this year, even if the train itself will not run. The spirit of the Holiday Train program and the Christmas spirit will carry on this year through our virtual concert. We will have the Holiday Train rolling again spreading Christmas cheer as soon as it’s safe to do so!”  

CP launched the Holiday Train 21 years ago and it has spent each of those years collecting food and money for food banks. The program has raised $17.8 million and collected 4.8 million pounds of food.

“We are very excited that CP has chosen a safe way to keep the spirit of the CP Holiday Train rolling in support of local food banks like ours in these challenging times,” said Calgary Food Bank President and CEO James McAra.

“The need for food bank services has risen substantially over the course of this year and heading into the high-demand winter months. We hope CP’s concert will prompt the train’s supporters to give as generously as they’re able.”

CP says it plans to bring back the train tour in 2021. Fingers crossed.

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.