Gary Sinise Foundation hosts 800 families of fallen military heroes at Disney World

2,000 loved ones expected over the 5-day event

Actor Gary Sinise (File) (Chris Pizzello)

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – The Gary Sinise Foundation announced that it is hosting 800 families of fallen military heroes at Walt Disney World Resort as part of its Snowball Express Program.

The five-day Disney experience kicked off on Dec. 3 and runs through Dec. 7 and allows families to spend time together while “honoring their fallen while cultivating relationships and making special memories together in a safe, warm and welcoming environment,” according to the foundation’s news release.

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The foundation was established over 12 years ago by actor Gary Sinise to honor veterans, first responders and their families.

Snowball Express initially came to WDW in 2018 and this will be the largest gathering of Snowball Families, with almost 2,000 loved ones coming from more than 500 cities around the county and overseas, according to the release.

There will be a Remembrance Garden with hundreds of flags and placards representing the fallen heroes and families also will participate in a Walk of Gratitude at Magic Kingdom, where they can write personal messages to their fallen hero on a scroll.

The children of the fallen heroes will ring bells “to send those messages up to the parent(s) they lost as the scrolls are sent to heaven during a special show.”

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Jacob joined in 2022. He spent 19 years at the Orlando Sentinel, mostly as a photojournalist and video journalist, before joining Spectrum News 13 as a web editor and digital journalist in 2021.