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Country music star and Grammy award winner Kathy Mattea will be the special guest on this year's Santa Train, an annual toy drive co-sponsored by K-VA-T Food Stores d/b/a Food City, CSX Railroad and the Kingsport Tenn. Chamber of Commerce.
The annual excursion through Appalachia on Nov. 22, 2008 will distribute 15 tons of toys and gifts along a route through Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia. This will be the train's 66th trip through the mountains. The event is a holiday tradition with generations of families benefiting from the packages Santa tosses to waiting hands along the way.
Prior to the Santa train trip, area communities will donate food and toys that are packed for the journey at the Eastman Road Food City in Kingsport.
Country singer Mattea's latest album, "Coal," describes the hardships many coal miners in Appalachia face. Both her grandfathers were coal miners, and her parents grew up in coal camps.
K-VA-T Food Stores, based in Abingdon, Va., operates 95+ outlets in Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee.