Frequently Asked Questions

Children of military fallen heroes who have died while on active duty (not medically retired) on or after September 11, 2001 who are between the ages of 5 years of age and 18 years of age. 

The children MUST BE listed on the DD1300, Report of Casualty in order to attend, no exceptions. The names will be confirmed upon receipt of the DD1300. Biological, step-children and adopted children are all eligible to attend IF their names are on the DD1300.

The death of the fallen hero can be either combat or non-combat related.

Ages– Children must be 5 years of age by December 9, 2017. Children cannot have turned 19 years of age before December 13, 2017 to be eligible to attend.

One accompanying parent/legal guardian or designated adult.

The parent or legal guardian of the Snowball child(ren) is the only person authorized to create the new account.  If you are a legal guardian, you will also be required to upload a copy of your guardianship papers.

The Snowball Express Foundation’s mission is focused on providing hope and new memories for the children of military fallen heroes. Unfortunately we do not have the resources to allow attendees other than those families with children of fallen military heroes who meet the above requirements. 

Organizations such as the Gold Star Wives and the American Widow Project are two organizations that provide relief and counsel for surviving spouses without children. Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors www.taps.org is another fine organization that helps those who have lost a fallen hero. They help all siblings, relatives and friends of fallen heroes.

Snowball Express endorses all of these efforts and encourages all surviving family members to use their services.

The answer is regretfully NO. We do not break out the costs for each event, airline fare (most of which is donated), meals, and ground transportation or theme park tickets. This would be a logistical nightmare and we simply can’t provide an al a carte option to families. Snowball Express cannot provide travel or permit attendance of persons not invited to the event. 

If a family were to bring an uninvited guest those person(s) will not be permitted to participate in any Snowball Express activities. Snowball Express resources are just for the children listed on the DD1300 and the sole parent or guardian accompanying the child(ren).

Families who can drive and are within a driving distance from the host city are encouraged to drive to enable the Snowball Express to afford to bring more families. For those families who cannot drive, Snowball Express will arrange air transportation, the majority of which will be via American Airlines. American Airlines provides free of charge almost all of the travel accommodations via charters and scheduled flights. You will be notified about one month in advance of your travel arrangements. We also ask that if you are within a 3-hour drive of a major airport that you drive to that airport to allow a more efficient movement of persons from larger airports versus the more costly smaller airports.

No. The minimum age of 5 applies to all families, as does the maximum age of 18. If you wish to wait until all children are eligible to attend, we will look forward to having you attend future Snowball Express events. 

However, all children, regardless of ages, are invited to local Snowflake events that may be happening in an area near you. We suggest you periodically check our calendar in the Snowflakes section to find an event.

It is our hope that every eligible family member that wants to attend is ultimately invited. The number of families that attend will be dependent upon the number of hotel rooms and venue space that is made available to us. Fist time families will always have priority over returning families.

Airfare, lodging, local transportation, and most meals are all free to our participants thanks to our donors and sponsors. The USO may provide free or discounted parking for our families at some of our departure airports, but Snowball can’t guarantee this at every airport. Generally speaking, the only costs incurred by families during Snowball Express are optional meals and gifts that families elect to buy on their own.

Families that have children with documented special needs may be approved for additional “helpers” on a case-by-case basis. A Doctor’s note and explanation of your child’s special needs MUST BE submitted in your request.

You cannot bring additional extended family members. The event is designed for the children of fallen heroes. Our wish is for the children to meet other children who are like themselves and begin to make friendships that will last a lifetime. 

Snowball Express is a time for healing for the children and is not meant to be a family vacation for other family members to join in the experience. Those family experiences are important but need to occur outside the scope of what occurs at Snowball Express. We hope families attending will accept what we are attempting to do in the spirit it is given and with the understanding of our policies and procedures.

We will keep sign-up and registration open for at least 30 days after the date of announcing that sign-up has opened, which will be near 9/1/17. After 9/15//17 we will review the progress of registration, decide on a cut off date, and announce the cut off date at that time.

Most of the events are closed events, which means only invited guests are allowed to attend. Occassionally an event might take place at a public venue. If an event is open to the general public, Snowball Express cannot restrict those who wish to attend. However, our wish is to have the event stay as close to its intention as possible and for children bonding with other children to be the main goal.

Hotel and airline seat availability. We must have a large quantity of hotel rooms to operate the way we do. We operate because of the generosity of American Airlines who provides us their resources for free or in the case of the hotels, some rooms on a deeply discounted basis.

Once families have “Signed Up” and completed entering their family data into our system, we require that they “Register” for the annual event each year. This allows us to plan accurately and make proper arrangements for your arrival.

Because of the sheer numbers of persons traveling from all over the country and because our near total reliance upon volunteers to do what we do, flight arrangements are for the days of travel that Snowball Express specifies. If you wish to purchase your own travel for dates other than those provided for travel by Snowball Express and still attend the event, please notify us at the time to make such arrangements. If you wish to use Snowball Express travel arrangements only one way, please let us know that also so we can try and save money by purchasing just a one way travel fare discounted ticket.

Doctors and transportation are available 24-hours a day to ensure our families can get to appropriate medical facilities that provide TriCare health services.

1. Make sure your name and birth date is the same as on your government-issued ID

2. We need a mailing address: street address, not a PO Box

3. We must have a copy of your DD1300 uploaded to your family record in our sign up system

4. Specify medical insurance provider

5. Children’s names should be correct

6. Ensure each child who wants to come is marked as attending

Yes. A survey will be completed prior to the event in which you will be asked if you would like a “helper” to be assigned. Snowball Express approves of each helper and will only assign a helper if they have gone through a valid background check. They are usually affiliated with service groups such as civic service organizations, military service organizations or employees of major donors/sponsors who have asked to help. The helpers can remain with you during all of the venues or selected venues as you see fit.

You may retrieve your itinerary approximately two weeks before the event by logging into your family’s registration page on this website.

If you need help or have question during your sign up process, please use the new “Support Request” feature. We have set up a link that will allow you to ask a question or ask for assistance. Click on “Families” at the top of the web page and scroll down to “My Family”. Click on “My Family” and a new page will open. At the bottom of the new page you will see the “Support Requests” category. Click on the “Have a question or need to request a change?” A new Support Request page will open up and allow you to ask a question. Under the “TYPE” column, scroll down and select “Question?”. You can then advise us that you need help uploading your document or photo, or submit other questions in the “Request Notes” space and then click on the SAVE button. Your question will be delivered to our support team who will be able to reply back to you.

The Snowball Express Privacy Policy is to share personal information only with your informed consent. We will not release your information to any outside party unless you have indicated your consent to do so in your profile (i.e. requested help from a local Rotary club). However, Snowball Express may provide its participating partners with details to establish your qualification for their contributed services. All partners are prohibited from using your personal information except to provide these services to Snowball Express and we require them to maintain the confidentiality of your information. 

We do not sell, rent or lease your information to others. However, we may, from time to time, contact you with either Snowball Express information or a particular offer for goods or services which may be of interest to you. Your individual private information (i.e. e-mail, or contact information) will not be provided to any third party offeror.

If you send us comments or photographs, you are giving us the right to post them on the Snowball Express web site and to use them to promote future Snowball Express events. If you attend a Snowball Express event, you give Snowball Express permission to use photographs, videos and recordings taken of you and your family members to further the charitable purposes of Snowball Express. Those photographs, videos and recordings will become the property of Snowball Express.

Snowball Express will disclose your personal information, without notice, only if required to do so by law or in the good faith belief that such action is necessary to: (a) conform to the edicts of the law or comply with legal process served on Snowball Express or the site; (b) protect and defend the rights or property of Snowball Express; and, (c) act under exigent circumstances to protect the personal safety of users of Snowball Express, or the public.

Snowball Express will occasionally update this Statement of Privacy to reflect your feedback. We encourage you to periodically review this Policy to be informed of how we are protecting your information. If you have further inquires regarding our information sharing policies, please let us know. We will use commercially reasonable efforts to promptly determine and remedy a problem.

The designated contact for these queries is privacy@snowballexpress.org or:
Privacy
Snowball Express
611 S. Main Street, Suite 400 – Grapevine ,Texas 76051
Phone 817-410-4673

Yes. Because we have updated our software system to help us better serve everyone’s needs, you will need to re-sign up and enter all family information into the new system. Our new database will require that all existing families re-sign up as a Snowball Express family. We are unable to transfer data from our old system to the new database. During this sign up process you will be required to upload an electronic copy of your DD1300. Once your account has been created and we have verified that all children listed on your account are also listed on the DD1300, you will receive an email indicating your approved status. At that time you can log back into your account and sign up for this year’s event.

Our team has been working for months to design a new family and volunteer database that will be much easier for you and our volunteers to use.  This system is much more flexible and will be much easier to expand as we grow. 

Our new database will require that everyone re-register as a Snowball Express family. We are unable to transfer data from our old system to the new database. During this sign up process you will be required to upload an electronic copy of your DD1300. The system will accept several common document formats, including PDF and JPG.  All acceptable formats are listed on the sign up page. If you need to take a photo of the document with your camera please make sure that the text is legible before you upload it.

The parent or legal guardian of the Snowball child(ren) is the only person authorized to create the new account.  If you are a legal guardian, you will also be required to upload a copy of your guardianship papers.

Once your account has been created and we have verified that all children listed on your account are also listed on the DD1300, you will receive an email indicating your approved status.  At that time you can log back into your account and sign up for this year’s event.

Yes, this will be a two-part process:

Sign Up you and your children for Snowball Express.
         And upon approval you will be notified that you may:

Register to attend our annual event, the largest gathering of children of our fallen heroes in the nation.
We appreciate your understanding as we undergo this period of transition.  We are certain that the initial investment in creating new Snowball Accounts will be worth the effort for all who will benefit from our new database.  If you need help or have question during your sign up process, please use the new “Support Request” feature.  This feature is explained in the attached document. We have a team of volunteers standing by to assist you.

We Honor
MAJ David Brodeur, USAF ENS Jeremy Johnson, USN SSG Asbury Hawn, USA CWO2 Timothy Moehling, USA MAJ Cesar Freitas, USMC SGT Juan Serrano, USA SSG Dennis Springer, USA CAPT Jeremiah Sipes, USA SSG Jerry Durbin, USA SSG Blanca RIVera, USA LTCOL Richard Maltbie, USA SSG Estevan Altamirano, USA CAPT Jeffery Sims, USAF SGT Milton Gist, USA SPC Rafael Ribeiro, USA SGT Robert Colvill, USA CPT Patrick Runyan, USA PO1 Paris Pough, USN SGT Jason Calo, USMC SSG Kevin Marsh, USA CAPT Waid Ramsey, USA CPL Curtis Mehrer, USA CWO2 Steven Shepard, USA CAPT Darrell Lewis, USA CAPT Daniel Mccollum, USMC
As One of Our Fallen Heroes

Serving the children of our fallen military heroes Snowball Express Could Use Your Help!