Gary Sinise Foundation
Snowball Express

Snowball Express

Gary Sinise Foundation Snowball Express serves the surviving spouse/guardian and children of fallen heroes. We are committed to year-round programming and support for families that honors their fallen hero, encourages them to make new memories, and provides opportunities to connect with others who know what they’ve been through.


Kids Hugging Remembrance Garden

Honoring the Fallen

One of the ways we honor and remember our fallen heroes is in a Remembrance Garden filled with hundreds of flags and placards, each representing the brave heroes our families lost. This garden is an important reminder to our families that they are not alone during this time of year, and their hero’s selfless sacrifice will never be forgotten.

Gary Hugging Disneyworld

healing & fun

The holidays can be especially challenging for grieving families. Each December, we host a five-day experience for 1,750+ children of the fallen and the surviving spouse/guardian. With special time to honor their fallen and a blend of fun entertainment and inspiring programs, these families can lean on their peers for support. Which is why we keep bringing Snowball Express back to Walt Disney World® Resort each year!

GSF SafariPark 518

Connecting with Others

In addition to the magic of Disney each December, we’re also hosting community events for these families all year long. From baseball games to arts & educational opportunities, to overnight experiences these families can strengthen their community close to where they live. These events are essential for children and the surviving spouse/guardian to develop bonds with the only people who can truly understand their loss: each other.

SBE Rollercoaster - Updated

Making New Memories

The Gary Sinise Foundation offers an opportunity for families to bond with each other and make new friends and cherished memories with various festivities throughout the year. We show our appreciation to and love for families and the children who continue to bear the ultimate meaning of service and sacrifice.

SBE Empowerment Workshops 2022

Empowerment Workshops

Another way we’re supporting families year-round is through weekend Empowerment Workshops. During this three-day retreat, surviving spouses/guardians and young adults come together to bond with each other and learn about self-awareness and effective communication methods to lead empowering lives. These activities help participants look more closely at their lives after loss and tap into their resiliency to move forward.

Photo Journal

SBE Photo Journal 9
Gary Hugging Disneyworld
Girl on Disney Ride
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SBE Group Smiling
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SBE Photo Journal 3
Gary SBE Parade
snowball express

Event Resources

New Families Military

Are you a family of the fallen who served on or after 9/11/2001? Complete our preliminary registration form below.

New Families First Responders Registration

The Gary Sinise Foundation welcomes the families of fallen First Responders who served on or after 9/11/2001. Complete our preliminary registration form below.


Ready to join the Gary Sinise Foundation Snowball Express team? Start by filling out our volunteer signup when registration opens in the Fall.

More Resources

Frequently Asked Questions:

Our Impact

The Stories

SBE 2019 Rachel Lavana Alquaddomi

We attended [Disney] in 2019, the year of our loss. I cannot express what an impact this made on the kids. Loss is an incredibly isolating experience, but Snowball gave us a sense of community and hope. It helped us build new relationships with other survivor families, who continue to be cherished friends. We are so grateful!! And, the kids had a fantastic time and still talk about it often!

Rachel Lavana Alquaddomi

After losing my husband, Snowball showed my girls life still is good. Being around other kids helped them and bought my girls back to life. Thank you Snowball they look forward to seeing their Snowball family.

Christine DevliegerSnowball Express Family

The grad adventure experience was a great opportunity to be around people my age that not only have gone through the same military related struggles, but also the struggle of not having the high school experience that we thought we would get.

Christopher Albaeck
Ramona Anderson Quote

The GSF has been a bridge for me to connect with families who know every emotion, every struggle and every victory to living a life of a community that is often forgotten.

Ramonda Anderson
SBE Virtual Kala Linder

The best experience would be the memories that she and I have made through Snowball Express. She loved making the slime [at Virtual Event 2021], especially as it hadn't been allowed in the house before. She spent hours playing with it and loved seeing her friends on the video call as well.

Kala Linder

It isn’t easy to put into words what Snowball Express meant to my 8-year-old daughter and me but I will try. I guess the easiest way to explain it is to simply state that it was the first time since losing my husband that I went 5 days in a row without crying. Sure, there were a few moments of filling up with tears. However, those were tears of gratitude and pride.

Jennifer HansonWidow of LCDR Keith Hanson, USN