Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Snowball Express 2011

We were asked to be volunteers for Snowball Express 2011 in Dallas, Texas.  Without any hesitation...no looking at our scheduel...we knew we'd make time for this and immediatly said "yes".

What a privilege it was for us to be there with these families who have paid such a high price for the freedoms our nation enjoys.  I don't have the exact figures but there were over 1,000 of our nations precious children who have lost a parent in the War on Terror in attendance. 

On the first day Eddie and I were put in the area where these arriving families would pick up their luggage!  It was an ALL day job as the planes were coming in from all over!  We smiled, welcomed them and then helped them find their luggage and sent them on the way to their rooms before coming back down for something to eat.  I tried to sit between arrivals and got through the first day!  Tired but so glad to be here.

I have slept some since being there but will try to cover some of the highlights of the events laid out for the Snowball families.

As they arrived and all throughout the event there were celebritites and costumed characters to inter-act with.  The Green M & M took a real liking to Eddie!  Other Characters were there from Six Flags.  

We were bused to a convention sight...actually where the Dallas Mavericks play....  The team was there to greet the families and show off their trophy as Baskeball Champs.  (They won't have one from 2012 as our Thunder beat them...) 

Martin Plowman an Indy race driver talked to the families and was on hand through out the event to meet and take pictures with the families....he also had his car there for them to sit in and take pictures.....You know the children loved this!

Randall McDamiel formerly an NFL player for the Vikings was there to greet the families and sign autoghraphs...He fell in love with the Snowball families.

 I got autographed photos for our two youngest grandsons who love to play football!

Outside the convention center all of the children released lots and lots of red, white and blue balloons!  A tribute to thier parents.  Many of the children were wearing T-shirts with thier parents picture.

 After this event they all loaded up in buses....a very long line of buses and headed out to Six Flags.  Eddie and I knew we wern't up to riding all those rides so we headed back to the hotel for a little rest.  Later that evening I managed to get up to the 38th floor in spite of my fear of being up so high.  The elevator ride up and down waa terrifying...but I made it!  While helping play with the younger ones I made sure to stay far away from the windows but cringed when ever one of the children got close.  Eddie was in his ibot chair and had to keep making it go up and down. 

Gillys closed to the public for one evening and hosted a special party just for the Snowball families.  They had games and foods....lots for the families to do!  And to top off the evening Gary Sinise was there with the Lt. Dan Band to play for them!  What a night!

Have other pictures but as usual...getting the pictures and words in the right places seems to not be so easy for me!  Maybe some day I will learn how this is done.

The entire week end was so rewarding.  We are truly blessed to be able to do what we do.  We plan to volunteer again for this year...even though we came home very tired...we will do it again and again as long as  we are able.  You can google Snowball Express and learn more about this organization and how you can help if you would like to.

Connie Beelsey

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