Cheering for Snowball Express USflags-NBCvidMore than 1,700 children and spouses of American soldiers killed in action were treated to an all-expense-paid visit to the Dallas/Fort Worth area for the seventh annual Snowball Express – a five day event to honor their sacrifice and bring joy and new memories to the families during the holidays.

Snowball Express is an all-volunteer nonprofit organization established in 2006. Their partners, American Airlines, donated nine chartered aircraft to bring families from 54 cities in the US, and Puerto Rico and Guam.

American’s CEO, Tom Horton called it a privilege. “Especially for our hundreds of volunteers, to once again bring these families to Dallas/Fort Worth – our hometown – for a few days of fun and the opportunity to find new friendships and memories.”

The airline hosted special send-off receptions at each of the departure airports. Festivities included holiday decorations at gates and onboard the aircraft, refreshments and entertainment, and even visits from Santa Claus.

Upon arrival at the airport near Dallas, Snowball Express families were greeted by cheering crowds at “American Candy Land”, which featured decorated gates, holiday crafts, appearances by Santa and Mrs. Claus, and colorful treats.

This year’s weekend events included a visit to the AT&T Performing Arts Center for the annual tree-lighting celebration; participation in the Dallas Children’s Parade; a trip to Six Flags Over Texas; and a private concert by Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band at Billy Bob’s, the famed Texas honkytonk in the Fort Worth Stockyards.

To learn more about Snowball Express sponsorship opportunities, or to view a complete list of corporate and nonprofit sponsors, visit

(WATCH the video below, or READ the article from NBC Dallas)

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