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Model railroad convention

John Koskovich hold an HO gauge BNSF engine in the basement of his South Sioux City home. The Sioux City Cosmopolitan Club is sponsoring a model railroading convention from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today at Emma's Event Center in Sioux City.

Members in the Sioux City Cosmopolitan Club are men and women who are dedicated to making their community a better place to live. Cosmopolitans help promote good citizenship and build friendships through efforts on the community projects. Known as the "The Club that Fights Diabetes," the goals and ideals of the Cosmopolitan Club are expressed in its motto "Unity, Service and Action."

The Sioux City club, chartered in 1965, is a member of Cosmopolitan International with memberships in 70 clubs throughout the United States and Canada. The Sioux City Cosmopolitan Club has been recognized as one of the leading International clubs. Its members have received numerous awards including five International Cosmo of the Year awards. Six members have served as Governor of the Cornbelt Federation and two have served as International officers.

As with most nonprofit, philanthropic organizations, the club has tried numerous ways of raising money, member John Koskovich explained.

"For 25 years, we sold Christmas trees," he said. "In its heyday, we would sell about 2,500 trees. When we stopped doing it, we had dwindled to 400. We needed to look at another fundraiser."

This weekend, the club coordinates all things locomotive at the Cosmopolitan Model Railroad show at Emma's Event Center, a fundraiser for the organization.

There hadn't been a model railroad show in Sioux City for more than 20 years, Koskovich said.

"I did my research and estimated how much it would cost to put something like this together," he said. "I also talked to vendors about the best time to hold one in Sioux City."

Vendors told Koskovich the first Saturday in March would be perfect, since it didn't conflict with shows in Sioux Falls, Council Bluffs and Lincoln, and the weather would most likely cooperate at that time.

In addition to the opportunity to purchase anything associated with model trains, those in attendance will have the chance to see a 7- by 14-foot Lionel "O" gauge layout, a 60-foot Free Mo modular layout in "HO" scale of a Lionel engine, and a 4- by 8-foot Lego train. Modelers will have a chance to attend two how-to seminars a day.

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