ROSENBERG (FOX 26) - Four year old Jack Lewis scrambles up a ladder to peer out of the caboose's cupola. He loves trains--not as much as Star Wars mind you, but a lot. He has a Thomas The Tank Engine at home.
"He's blue but he doesn't have any batteries in it." he says shyly.
The Rosenberg Railroad Museum's red caboose is really popular with kids, but it may be going away soon.
"It's been exposed to the elements like anything else, like your house or anything else. The weather takes it's toll. It needs to be repaired, and repainted, and fixed so we can keep the exhibit open." says program director Lisa Richert.
The main problem is it leaks. There is water damage throughout. At one point someone replaced the windows and didn't seal it properly. The floor is rusting out.
But they have a plan. A company called Bernzomatic is holding a contest. Non-profits like this can compete to get online votes. You can go to the company website or the museum's website. You can vote once every 24-hours. Voting ends January 31st. The winner will get ten thousand dollars.
There's more at stake here than just the money. Don't get me wrong; ten thousand dollars will go a long way to restoring the caboose. But if they win, Nicole Curtis from the TV show Rehab Addicts will come and participate in the restoration.
"That would be phenomenal for getting out caboose repaired and would bring a lot of needed publicity to our museum-- so people can learn about the exhibit we have here." says Rickert.
Last year they had 17,000 visitors. It was the best year ever, but they want to do better. They get money from programs, donations, and admission fees.
More people in the door means more revenue, and that means kids like Jack can keep getting their train fixes.