ORLANDO, Fla. -- Walt Disney World Resort just wrapped an annual ceremony creating happy memories for the children and surviving spouses of military heroes who have died while on active duty since 9/11. "I am completely overwhelmed by how amazing it has been," said one participant of the event. "You just feel the love," she added.
The Gary Sinise Foundation's "Snowball Express" program returned to Walt Disney World for the first time in person since 2019. More than 1,850 children, surviving spouses, and family members of fallen military heroes were greeted by more than 1,000 Disney VoluntEARS.
"I've had several mothers come up to me, with tears in their eyes, and say how grateful they are as moms to know that their children are with other children who experienced similar things," says Donna Palmer, executive director for the Gary Sinise Foundation. "That feeling of comfort and connection means so much to them," she added.
Throughout the event, families not only had the opportunity to experience the magic of Disney but also had the opportunity to bond with one another. "I hope they will take away Gary's desire that they will know that they are not forgotten," says Jim Ravella, Senior Vice President of Programs for the Gary Sinise Foundation. "When they know people care enough to do something like this, then that life mattered."
You can learn more about the Gary Sinise Foundation by visiting www.garysinisefoundation.org.
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