The votes have been tallied in the 2015 CultureMap Charity Challenge presented by Briggs Freeman Sotheby's International Realty, and Snowball Express has emerged victorious to become our charity partner for 2015. The nonprofit earned 40 percent of the nearly 7,000 votes cast.
Twelve deserving organizations — including Advocates for Community Transformation (ACT), Art Station Fort Worth, Cafe Momentum, Dallas Cert, Dwell with Dignity, Men of Nehemiah, Nexus Recovery Center, Ronald McDonald House of Dallas, SPCA of Texas and YW Nurse-Family Partnership — battled it out in the second annual competition. The prize? A CultureMap advertising package worth $10,000.
"Snowball Express is thrilled to win the Charity Challenge and be selected as CultureMap's charity partner for 2015," says executive director Buck Kern. "This honor will give us a great opportunity to tell more people about the great work that Snowball Express does and how we serve the children of our fallen military heroes."
Snowball Express, founded in 2006, provides hope and new, happy memories to the children of military fallen heroes who have died while on active duty since 9/11. Tragically, there are more than 8,000 children who will never be reunited with their military parent because he or she made the ultimate sacrifice to our nation. These children and their surviving mother or father will continue that sacrifice, as they struggle with the reality of living without their parent and hero.
That is where this organization comes into play. Snowball Express brings kids from all over the country to DFW to enjoy four days of fun activities, including sporting events, dances, amusement parks and more.
Children who are picked for the Snowball Express experience often are reserved, withdrawn or unwilling to talk about their loss. Participating in Snowball Express changes that, allowing each child to feel understood so they can talk about their feelings with others who have lost a parent.
"The timing of this could not have been better," Kern says. "This year is our 10th anniversary, and we want to engage the citizens of Dallas to help us remember, honor and inspire these children, each of whom has lost a dad or mom serving in the military since 9/11."
For more information about how you can help Snowball Express in its mission, visit the website.