Two families are departing from the Quad Cities; they are among the more than 1,300 Snowball Family Members traveling tto North Texas via American Airlines
FORT WORTH, Texas - More than 1,300 spouses and children of fallen military personnel will receive a Texas-sized welcome when they arrive in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex on Dec. 9, as part of the annual Snowball Express event. This is the first time Snowball Express has traveled to North Texas.
Each year, Snowball Express, a volunteer, not-for-profit organization, arranges an all-expenses-paid trip to provide hope and new memories for the children and spouses of military men and women who lost their lives while defending our nation. Mayors and governors across the U.S. have proclaimed Wednesday, Dec. 9, as "Snowball Express and American Airlines Day."
"For the families of these fallen heroes, it is a remarkable experience that can greatly help in their grieving process after sustaining such a profound loss," said Micki Sander, Snowball Express Chairperson. "It is extremely moving to hear participants talk about their experience with Snowball Express and what it has meant to them and their families."
American Airlines returns as the official airline of Snowball Express and is providing eight chartered aircraft for the Snowball families, who will be traveling from around the United States. BP is generously donating fuel for the Snowball Express aircraft.
"All of us at American Airlines are truly grateful to our military servicemen and women and their families for the sacrifices they have made to protect the freedom our country enjoys," said Roger Frizzell, Vice President Corporate Communications and Advertising at American Arilines. "This year, we are particularly excited to fly the Snowball Express families to Dallas/Fort Worth - our hometown - where they will be able to enjoy all of our area's top attractions and, of course, get the biggest and best welcome in true Texas style."
This year's Snowball Express trip runs Dec. 9-13. The families will enjoy numerous activities, including:
· Ranch & Rodeo Day - Visits to the world-famous "Dallas" South Fork Ranch, as well as the Mesquite Championship Rodeo.
· "Day in the Life of Texas" event at the Dallas Convention Center.
· Day with the Dallas Cowboys and Dallas Mavericks, which includes meeting with the Dallas Cowboys football players and the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders for football and cheerleading clinics. Entertainment will be provided by award-winning actor Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band.
· The Dallas Mavericks have also generously donated American Airlines Center seats for Snowball families to attend the Mavericks' Dec. 12 game against the Charlotte Bobcats.
· Several restaurants including Eddie Dean's, Mi Cocina, Humperdink's, and Chili's-as well as Ben E. Keith Company-are donating meals to feed Snowball families
Including volunteers and donors, this year's Snowball Express event in North Texas will bring together nearly 2,000 people to pay tribute to these fallen American heroes and to create new memories for their families. To find out more about becoming a sponsor, or to view the list of all Snowball Express corporate and non-profit sponsors, please visit http://www.snowballexpress.org/partners/partners.html
About Snowball Express
The mission of Snowball Express, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, is to provide hope and new memories for the children of fallen military heroes who have died in active duty since 9/11. Since 2006, Snowball Express has hosted an annual event that brings children of fallen military heroes together for a few days of fun. In 2007, nearly 800 children and more than 300 surviving spouses attended the annual Snowball Express event. Snowball Express has no paid staff. It has approximately 25 volunteers who work year round on the "main event." Ninety-seven percent of all collected cash donations go directly to the event. When in-kind donations of more than $3 million are included, the total percentage of funds expended for fundraising and general administrative costs is less than one percent. www.snowballexpress.org