The Snowball Express

Written by Dr. Steve Whitaker, Head of School

Since 2006, the mission of Snowball Express, a program of the Gary Sinise Foundation has been a simple, yet profoundly important one: Providing hope and new happy memories to the children of military fallen heroes who have died while on active duty since 9/11. In December each year, Snowball Express brings children together from all over the world for a four-day experience filled with fun activities like sporting events, dances, amusement parks and more. This year, they are bringing all of the children to Walt Disney World.

This is an amazing cause that is almost completely run and fueled by volunteers and generous sponsors. A few months ago Deb Wasylik (Upper School faculty member), who has a passion and heart for this program and its mission, approached me asking if there was any way that we as a school could support Snowball Express. After being put in touch with the Volunteer Coordinator, it became apparent that the students and families at TFA could rally together and put Service Before Self for this important cause!

On Saturday, December 8, TFA has the honor of being the welcoming committee for these families and children as they arrive at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort! The Royal Steel Drum Band will be playing as the families arrive and TFA students and families will greet them, assist with small pieces of luggage (if needed), and escort families to their rooms. This service project will last the entire day on December 8 (as busses are arriving throughout the day with the families), however, there is the option to sign up for time slots.

Additionally, The Gary Sinise Foundation is very safety conscious because of the minor children involved with Snowball Express. Because of this, any adult wishing to volunteer will need to complete a background check. Students wishing to volunteer DO NOT need to complete the background check. High School students may register to volunteer without parental supervision, however, if your Middle School student (grade 7 or 8) would like to participate, we ask that a parent or guardian also registers to volunteer and completes the background check (both the parent AND the student must be signed up to volunteer if both are attending). If you are interested in joining us for this service opportunity, parents must register to become a volunteer through Snowball Express-see instructions below. All students will only need to complete the “Student Registration” form below. Please read through the volunteer registration instructions below, as they vary for students and parents:

Student Registration

Student registration is now closed. If you are still interested in registering, please see Mrs. Wasylik. Thank you

Parent Registration Instructions

We truly look forward to partnering with our TFA families to serve these Gold Star families during the holiday season. If you do register to volunteer for Snowball Express, we will be in touch as the date nears with necessary further details and instructions. Thank you and God bless.