As the Presenting Sponsor and official airline of Snowball Express, American donated chartered aircraft and provided free travel on select commercial flights for families traveling from cities across the country, as well as international locations.
After special send-off receptions at each of the departure airports, this year’s Snowball Express events included:
Family Arrival Day
The families landed throughout the day and were shuttled to the Hyatt Dallas Hotel where they spent the day getting acquainted or re-acquainted with the other families. The kids, teens and adult lounges were open for the families, as well as the Family Resource Room and the special Neiman Marcus “Gift of Giving” Store.
Cinema Experience and Main Event Entertainment Day
Wonderful partners, LOOK Cinema and the Main Event Entertainment Centers, donated their facilities and staff to create very special experiences for the children.
A Big Day in Fort Worth
Each year there’s a “Walk of Gratitude” where the public can come out and show their support for the sacrifice of these families. This year, the new Sundance Square Plaza in Downtown Fort Worth was the location for this tremendous show of support. Special guest entertainers included the USO Show Troupe; Steve Amerson, America’s Tenor; Neal E. Boyd; the Texas Boys Choir and a special appearance by Santa Claus. After the ceremony, families enjoyed lunch and activities in Downtown.
In the afternoon, families caravaned to the Fort Worth Zoo where the kids enjoyed several hours of fun together. The zoo hosted the families for fun and dinner. Gary Sinise attended and put on a concert with his Lt. Dan Band in a private location within the zoo grounds. (Gary is a member of the Snowball Express Advisory Board and has supported Snowball Express since 2007. His concert is a favorite annual event of the families.)
Grand Finale Day
The final day concluded with an afternoon Snowball Express Talent Showcase and Music Experience at the world famous House of Blues. Last year’s talent showcase was so meaningful that this has become an annual event. Snowball Express, the Texas Music Project and Linda Septien Entertainment created an interactive musical experience opportunity for all Snowball Express children. The program gives any child or group of musicians, singers, dancers and storytellers an opportunity to showcase their talent live onstage.
The final evening’s “Snowball Express Grand Finale Extravaganza" hosted by David Hira was held at the Dallas Convention Center in the Naomi Bruton Theater. David and his entertainment group have become a favorite of the families and his high-energy variety show is the perfect way to celebrate the children’s final evening together.
You, too, can give hope for those left behind through American’s Kids in Need program.
Snowball Express is one of the few charities dedicated to the children of our nation’s fallen military heroes. Your donation gives these children happy new memories and love. Children often return year after year to reunite with the friends they have made. And, your support honors the fallen who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.