Snowball Express 2009 In Dallas


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Snowball Express is the charity for the children of our fallen Military heroes. The 2009 event took place in Dallas, Texas. This slide show covers many of the wonderful experiences of the 1,395 family members attending this year's event.

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Snowball Express 2009 In Dallas

  1. 1. The California Governor sent a message to all Snowball Express Families. At LAX, the Snowball children gathered to sing Christmas Carols.
  2. 2. American Airline’s staff loved decorating the gate area and dressing as various characters
  3. 3. This American Airline’s charter arrived at LAX from Sacramento to pick up the next group of families. Notice how the ground crew signaled them into the gate. They used American flags rather than their normal orange batons.
  4. 4. The Patriot Guard are huge supporters of Snowball Express. Here is one group gathered for the send-off at San Diego Airport.
  5. 5. These charters are not normal flights in any respect. After take off at a steep angle, the flight attendants start at the front of the plane and ski down the entire aisle on plastic serving trays while spraying silly string throughout the passenger cabin. Everyone has a great time!
  6. 6. The flight crews thoroughly enjoyed themselves in the airports and aboard the flights. It is a great privilege for them to be assigned Snowball Express Charters.
  7. 7. We had wonderful guests on these flights to entertain the kids.
  8. 8. While Departing from each airport, the Fire Department honors these families with a water canon salute. This one is at San Diego Airport. The kids were in awe of these special tributes.
  9. 9. There were many forms of entertainment for various age groups to keep the children of our fallen building positive memories during the Holidays
  10. 10. With nearly 1,400 family members, there were always huge crowds to manage. The “Command Center” (at right) was ready for every contingency from medical issues, to snowbound flights, lost and found, etc.
  11. 11. The next morning, the entire group is bussed to world famous “Southfork Ranch” where the TV Show “Dallas” was filmed.
  12. 12. Inside the main house at “Southfork” are rooms decorated with portraits of JR Ewing and other characters from “Dallas”
  13. 13. There were dozens of great activities for the families to enjoy. The Southfork Staff was exceptional with all the kids.
  14. 14. General Peter Pace, retired Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is pictured upper left with Micki Sander, Chairman of the Board of Snowball Express
  15. 15. Teenagers had a great time Texas line dancing. An Ice Carver demonstrated his talents.
  16. 16. There were a dozen inflatable jumpers and slides and competitive fun.
  17. 17. Little kids got to jump on trampolines harnessed to bungees and ride horses
  18. 18. After a bus caravan to Mesquite, the families were fed dinner and given a private show at this world famous rodeo
  19. 19. Everyone was given a free cowboy hat. The young kids were allowed into the rodeo ring to round up some slippery sheep.
  20. 20. Snowball Express Board Members and Representatives of American Airlines, our Presenting Sponsor greet the families to this fantastic, private rodeo show
  21. 21. The following day included a “Walk of Gratitude Parade” in downtown Dallas to the Convention Center
  22. 22. In the Convention Center, dozens of fun activities filled the day
  23. 23. Neiman Marcus, another Snowball Express Sponsor set up a store in the convention center. Each Snowball child was allowed to shop for a free gift to be given to their surviving parent on Christmas Day.
  24. 24. Media was constantly recording every aspect of this year’s events. Free blankets were given out to all family members.
  25. 25. Michelle Obama prerecorded a message that was played for all the families at dinner Charlie Gibson, ABC National News featured Snowball Express on his final “Person of the Week”
  26. 26. General Pace addressed the crowd. Snowball Express Mom Autumn Letendre had written a song entitled “Raise Your Flag” that she performed live for the families who were all waving flags.
  27. 27. The following day started with a Texas style brunch
  28. 28. The Patriot Guard were ever present. Here dozens of motorcyclists formed to lead the motorcade through Dallas
  29. 29. The Dallas Police had arranged full “Presidential Style” motorcades where all streets and freeways were completely shut down to allow our 28 bus caravan to proceed nonstop between events as much as 25 miles apart
  30. 30. This motorcade is being led to Cowboy Stadium, the new $1.2B amazing structure • Aerial view stadium
  31. 31. The entire field was exclusively devoted to Snowball Express families and events the whole day
  32. 32. Super Bowl rings, proud SBE organizers, Patriot Guard motorcycles lined up to ride onto the field and matching leopard vests
  33. 33. NFL players autographed anything presented to them for signatures
  34. 34. Cheerleaders performed as did Gary Sinise and his “Lt Dan Band”
  35. 35. Gary Sinise walks into the crowds with his base guitar to begin his two-hour performance
  36. 36. Gary has been a huge supporter of Military causes and has backed Snowball Express since the beginning
  37. 37. We wish to thank all the wonderful supporters of Snowball Express this year in Dallas including: General Peter Pace (upper left) American Airlines Chairman Gerard Arpey (left) Gary Sinise (above)