Model trains gently chugged and rolled overhead as Lynette said, “This is just such a special place. As I walk around here I can just see them smiling again and laughing. Being here, I can hear their voices.”
Today marks the 13th anniversary of Amberville Train Station, named for Amber who first visited the Village during her brother Travis’ wish trip in 1990 and then again during her own wish trip in 1992.
Upon meeting the pair of siblings many years ago, Henri Landwirth, founder of GKTW, decided he wanted to do something extraordinary for this family who would twice walk a very difficult journey.
Henri was so moved by this family’s story that he decided to name the venue in honor of the family’s second child. A café car on the train that circles Amberville Train Station is named for her brother Travis.
Lynette recalls, “When Henri was designing [Amberville] he looked around and saw there was nothing that Travis and Amber could do so he decided to put the [interactive] train station here so that all they had to do was lightly touch the button to play. He was so kind and he just wanted to help our family. Henri is such a special man. There’s just so much love in him. It just flows out of him. There’s even compassion in his voice.”
Earlier this week, the parents of Travis and Amber, Lynette and Brad, visited the Village as part of Lynette’s birthday vacation. “Brad said I could go anywhere I wanted to go for my birthday. I wanted to be here in this special place where we have so many happy memories. There are so many special moments here. We made memories that will last a lifetime. We just love Give Kids The World.”
As the cake was cut and passed, Brad spoke to GKTW staff saying, “You probably don’t realize how much of a difference you’ve made in the lives of families who visit.”
And while many of us cannot imagine the hardship Brad and Lynette have endured and what a once-in-a-lifetime vacation with loved ones truly means, Give Kids The World is pleased to be a humble servant to this and many other deserving families.
Hear the family’s story in their own words here: