Published on : Thursday, December 12, 2013
Beginning on Thursday, Dec. 12, nearly 1,800 children and spouses of fallen military will travel to Dallas/Fort Worth onboard American and American Eagle flights for the eighth annual Snowball Express trip. The all-expense-paid vacation takes place through Monday, Dec. 16. Snowball Express is an all-volunteer nonprofit organization established in 2006 with the mission of bringing hope and new happy memories to the children of military heroes who have died while on active duty since September 11, 2001.
As the official airline of Snowball Express, American and American Eagle are donating nine chartered flights and 38 commercial flights to transport families traveling from 75 cities across the United States, as well as international locations including Puerto Rico and Guam. Hundreds of American and American Eagle employees volunteer their time to host send-off parties, staff the trip and assist with activities.
“All of us at American Airlines offer our sincerest gratitude to U.S. military servicemen and women and their families around the world for the sacrifices they have made to protect the freedoms our country enjoys,” said Doug Parker, American’s CEO. “Snowball Express respectfully honors the memory of fallen men and women who so bravely served our country, and we are honored to be part of this incredible experience year after year.”
Flights are made possible by the American Airlines Kids In NeedSM program, which provides worldwide support for children and their families, and for organizations dedicated to improving the quality of life for children. Airfare for some families will be provided by the nonprofit organization Air Compassion for Veterans, which is funded in part through a partnership with Fuel Smart, American’s employee-led fuel conservation program. In keeping with its continued work to support families of the fallen, the USO (United Service Organizations) Warrior and Family Care provided a grant for this year’s Snowball Express.
“We are thrilled to bring our Snowball families back to North Texas for the fifth consecutive year,” said Francis “Buck” Kern, Executive Director, Snowball Express. “This time of year can be very difficult for these military families who have lost a loved one, and it is extremely moving to hear our participants talk about their Snowball Express experience. As our event continues to grow each year thanks to the outpouring of support from our community and sponsors, we are thankful to count on American’s unwavering commitment and look forward to continuing these partnerships for years to come.”
American and American Eagle employee volunteers will host special send-off celebrations at each of the departure airports. Festivities will include holiday decorations at gates and onboard aircraft, refreshments and entertainment. Upon arrival at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), families will be greeted with “Wizard of Oz” themed decorations, including a yellow brick road through the airport, Munchkin Land and a Kansas Field of Poppies. They will also enjoy a variety of activities as they are welcomed to North Texas. Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!
This year’s Snowball Express events include a special performance at the LOOK Cinemas, entertainment at the Main Event, American’s own Snowball Express/Texas Music Project Talent Experience, a trip to the Fort Worth Zoo and a concert by Academy Award-nominated actor Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band.
Source:- Americam Airlines
Tags: Airline News