C'mon Get Happy: Lt. Dan Sends 1750 Gold Star Families to Disney

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

The Snowball Express is a charity dedicated to Gold Star Families. The holidays can be especially challenging for grieving families. Each December, they host 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. And this year, the Snowball Express went to Walt Disney World® Resort!

Actor Gary Sinise took on the Snowball Express as one of his Gary Sinise Foundation projects, helping underwrite this great trip for the Gold Star Families. Sinise, or Lieutentant Dan from Forrest Gump, has been helping veterans and their families for almost 40 years. He co-founded the Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago in 1974; in the early 1980’s he started supporting Veterans groups and created Vets Night, which was free dinners and shows for veterans at the Steppenwolf Theatre. In the 1990’s, he continued by working on behalf of the Disabled American Veterans organization. He made overseas USO tours in 2003, then formed the “Lt. Dan Band” in early 2004 and began entertaining troops serving at home and abroad; the band gives roughly 30 shows a year for military bases, charities and fundraisers supporting wounded heroes, Gold Star families, and other troops. 



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