EL PASO, TX — The holiday season will be a little brighter for 5 El Paso area military families with parents killed in action, thanks to the Snowball Express. This is the 7th year that the volunteer group fly families from across the country to the Dallas area for a weekend during the holiday season. Once in Dallas, these families will be very busy. The group of nearly 1,700 children will spend the weekend joining in the Dallas Children's Parade and trips to the area's tree lighting ceremony and Six Flags Over Texas. Families will also be treated to a private rodeo and a concert of the Lt.Dan Band, with Gary Sinise, who played the role of Lt. Dan in 'Forrest Gump.'
Snowball Express volunteers want to create some positive memories for these kids. Thirteen kids in the El Paso area took off to Dallas to meet with hundreds of other kids who are also coping with the loss of a parent. Siria Purcell and her son Esteban took the trip last year. For her, the Snowball Express trip is a chance to connect with families who understand, " it was wonderful to be around other families who have gone through the same thing as us, understand us, and don't have to ask 'what happened?' and 'how are you dealing?' None of that. It was nice to be around people who can relate to what we've been through."
American Airlines is the official airline of the group, and took care of a majority of the flights to Dallas.