DALLAS, Dec. 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- To celebrate and recognize the families of the fallen American military heroes who will never return home, the 8th annual Snowball Express event will take place in Dallas / Ft. Worth, Texas on Dec. 12 - 16. Nearly 1,800 children and surviving spouses will have the opportunity to connect with others who have suffered a similar loss as well as others inspired to support their cause. The four day, all-expenses paid holiday celebration helps create opportunities for joy, friendship and communal healing for the children of military fallen heroes who have died while on active duty since 9/11.
"Snowball Express serves children of military heroes who will never be reunited with their mom or dad. Parents of children of the fallen often tell us that their child is reserved, withdrawn or unwilling to talk about their loss," said Buck Kern, Executive Director, Snowball Express. "Participating in Snowball Express changes that, making each child feel special and giving them an opportunity to share their feelings about losing something so precious, their parent. The healing that occurs when these children come together is truly remarkable. The simple act of bringing these families together changes their lives. The event helps the children be children again. We show them that it is OK to smile and laugh again and we introduce them to other kids who are just like them. This healing event would not be possible without the support of our generous sponsors and volunteers."
By donating to Snowball Express at snowballexpress.info/support, Americans can continue to change the lives of families who have lost a loved one protecting our Nation. Your contribution will help us show these families they are loved and not forgotten, and that this country deeply appreciates the sacrifices that they have made while we honor the memory of their fallen hero.
In addition to monetary donations, volunteers are needed to staff the weekend's festivities.
The schedule of events for the 2013 Snowball Express includes:
Thursday, Dec. 12: Family Arrival Day: Snowball Express will fly eligible families in from four different continents and 73 different airports to converge on Dallas/Ft. Worth Airport, many on specially chartered American Airlines jets. Local and regional media are invited to attend both the departures at those airports and the arrival at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, Concourse C, Gates 1-4, beginning at 8:30 a.m. CST and continuing through 6:00 p.m. CST. At the airports, arrangements will be made to accommodate media to shoot video of the departures and the arrivals and at DFW there will be several ceremonies and a festive, holiday atmosphere as the families arrive.
Friday, Dec. 13: Cinema Experience and Main Event Entertainment Day: Families will split their day between LOOK Cinemas in Dallas for a movie experience and the Main Event Entertainment Centers in Frisco and Plano for several hours of activities. At each of these three locations the public is invited to come and welcome the families when they arrive. For details please go to: snowballexpress.org
Saturday, Dec. 14: A Big Day in Fort Worth: North Texas dignitaries, celebrities and the general public will welcome the families during the "Walk of Gratitude" at the Sundance Square Plaza in downtown Fort Worth starting at 9 a.m. Special guest entertainers will perform, including the USO Show Troop; America's Got Talent winner Neil Boyd; Country recording artist Matt Snook the Texas Boys Choir; and a special appearance by Santa Claus. Following the ceremony, families will visit the Fort Worth Zoo and enjoy a private concert performed by Gary Sinise and his Lt. Dan Band.
Sunday, Dec. 15: Grand Finale Day: The final day concludes with the "Snowball Express Talent Showcase and Music Experience" at the House of Blues, sponsored by the Texas Music Project and the "Snowball Express Grand Finale Extravaganza" hosted by David Hira at the Dallas Convention Center Theater.
Monday, Dec. 16: Family Departure Day: Families head back home via American Airlines flights out of DFW.
Snowball Express would not be possible without the support of presenting sponsor American Airlines and other sponsors including: Neiman Marcus, Hyatt Dallas Hotel, Air Power Foundation, Gary Sinise Foundation, Carry The Load, 31Heroes Project, Headington Reality & Capital, Thomas Reprographics, YUM! Brands, Fisher House-Hero Miles, Green Beans Coffee, Greyhound Bus Lines, USO, E&J Gallo Winery, Terry Fator, Non-Commissioned Officers Association, OSC Solutions, Inc., Patriot Guard Riders and many others.
Over the past decade, true American Heroes, the men and women of the United States Military and their families, have made and continue to make extraordinary sacrifices to protect America's freedom. Each year, Snowball Express and its sponsors and volunteers are able to bring together children of our fallen military heroes from all over the world for a week of making memories and honoring their parent's sacrifice. If you would like to learn more about Snowball Express, please visit www.snowballexpress.org.
Zeno Group for Snowball Express
American Bus Association for Snowball Express
SOURCE Snowball Express