When you think of actor Gary Sinise, you think of memorable characters like Lieutenant Dan Taylor from the movie, Forrest Gump. He’s also been in The Green Mile, Apollo 13 and even the original videos for the que at Disney’s Mission Space attraction. What many would be surprised to know about him is the work he’s done for children of fallen soldiers and the charities he’s founded. In 2011, the Gary Sinise Foundation was created. The foundation is a charity that creates unique programs designed to “entertain, educate, inspire, strengthen, and build communities.” One of those programs is Snowball Express, a special initiative that provides free trips for children of fallen soldiers.
The holidays can be especially challenging for grieving families. Each December, Snowball Express hosts a five-day experience for 1,750+ children of the fallen and their surviving parent or guardian. As a therapeutic retreat with a blend of fun and inspiring programs, these families can lean on their peers for support.
For the 2018 Snowball Express trip, Sinise generously took over 1,750 kids and their surviving parents to Disney World in Orlando, Florida for a magical, 5-night trip. In partnership with American Airlines, over 14 aircrafts were needed to safely transport the 600+ families who attended the event. This year’s Snowball Express trip is scheduled to take place Dec. 7th- Dec. 11th, 2019.
Gary’s ties with Walt Disney World run even deeper. For several years he’s been a celebrity narrator for Disney’s highly acclaimed Candlelight Processional. The Candlelight Processional is held during the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays at the American Gardens Theater. This year, Gary Sinise returns 12/13-12/15 to perform his duties as guest narrator.
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