FORT WORTH, Texas, Dec. 8, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- All aboard the Snowball Express! On Thursday, Dec. 9, more than 1,300 children and spouses of fallen military personnel will arrive via American Airlines and American Eagle flights for an all-expense-paid visit to the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. This special journey has been planned in conjunction with Snowball Express, a nonprofit organization established in 2006 to bring a few days of fun and friendship to families of military servicemen and women who lost their lives.
Returning as the official airline of Snowball Express, American and American Eagle are donating eight chartered aircraft and providing free travel on selected commercial flights for families traveling from 48 cities across the country, marking the second time Snowball Express has visited North Texas. American and American Eagle employees will host special send-off receptions at each of the departure airports. Festivities will include decorated gates and aircraft interiors, refreshments and entertainment, and even visits from Santa Claus. In addition, public officials in cities across the United States have proclaimed Thursday, Dec. 9, "Snowball Express and American Airlines/American Eagle Day."
"American Airlines is proud to honor the memory of the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice to serve our country," said Thomas W. Horton, President – American Airlines. "All of us at American and American Eagle, especially our hundreds of employee volunteers, are honored to once again bring the these wonderful families to Dallas/Fort Worth for a special visit to our home town and to offer them a Texas-size welcome."
"The holiday season can be a difficult time for families who have lost a loved one, especially children of our fallen military," said Micki Sander, Snowball Express Chairwoman. "Our goal at Snowball Express is to bring a little joy to these lives that have been forever changed by the loss of a parent or spouse."
American, American Eagle and the Snowball Express team, joined by hundreds of volunteers and sponsors, will ensure that these families have plenty of events and activities on tap. The schedule includes a welcome tribute at American Airlines Victory Plaza; a performance of "The Nutcracker" by the Metropolitan Classical Ballet; a private performance at the Mesquite Championship Rodeo, where the children will participate in some of the events; and a concert by award-winning actor Gary Sinise, performing with his Lt. Dan Band.
On Saturday, Dec. 11, the families can also look forward to spending a day at Six Flags Over Texas. On Sunday, they'll go to the Southfork Ranch, which will be transformed into an outdoor amusement park.
A highlight on Sunday will be a private performance by Dallas native and Las Vegas ventriloquist/entertainer Terry Fator, the first winner of NBC-TV's "America's Got Talent" program and current headliner at The Mirage in Las Vegas.
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.
About American Airlines
American Airlines, American Eagle and AmericanConnection® serve 250 cities in 40 countries with, on average, more than 3,400 daily flights. The combined network fleet numbers more than 900 aircraft. American's award-winning website, AA.com®, provides users with easy access to check and book fares, plus personalized news, information and travel offers. American Airlines is a founding member of the oneworld® Alliance, which brings together some of the best and biggest names in the airline business, enabling them to offer their customers more services and benefits than any airline can provide on its own. Together, its members serve approximately 750 destinations in nearly 150 countries and territories. American Airlines, Inc. and American Eagle Airlines, Inc. are subsidiaries of AMR Corporation. AmericanAirlines, American Eagle, AmericanConnection, AA.com, We know why you fly and AAdvantage are trademarks of American Airlines, Inc. (NYSE: AMR)
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SOURCE American Airlines