Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Peterson Space Observer

Helping survivor families: Local chapter hosts first Snowflake event

(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dennis Hoffman) Colorado Springs, Colo. — A boy attending a Snowflake Event at Security Service Field watches a Sky Sox baseball game while eating ice cream in Colorado Springs, Colo., Aug. 21, 2017. A Snowflake event is a regional occurrence hosted for Snowball Express families. Since 2006, Snowball Express has provided hope and happy memories to the children of military fallen heroes who have died while on active duty since 9/11.
(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dennis Hoffman) Colorado Springs, Colo. — A boy attending a Snowflake Event at Security Service Field watches a Sky Sox baseball game while eating ice cream in Colorado Springs, Colo., Aug. 21, 2017. A Snowflake event is a regional occurrence hosted for Snowball Express families. Since 2006, Snowball Express has provided hope and happy memories to the children of military fallen heroes who have died while on active duty since 9/11.

By Dave Smith

21st Space Wing Public Affairs staff writer

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — To support the families of fallen military members, the local chapter of the Non Commissioned Officers Association held a Snowflake Event Aug. 21, 2017 at Security Services Field, Colorado Springs, Colorado.

“Snowflake events are designed to be a day of fun for children of fallen military heroes, providing an opportunity to get out with other survivor families,” according to official NCOA guidelines. “Events are held at various locations around the nation so families can enjoy them without extensive travel.

“For us it was important to show the families they were not forgotten,” said Master Sgt. Gerald Morey, 21st Comptroller Squadron/Wing Staff Agency first sergeant and member of the NCOA Air Academy chapter. “This was the first time our chapter held a Snowflake event.”

The events are smaller, localized versions of the four-day Snowball Express event held each year in December for families of fallen military members. Attendees are treated to special activities and receive gifts to help them connect with others who are facing similar circumstances.

Several families from multiple services participated in the event, with one family travelling from Denver to take part, Morey said. They all received free admission to the Sky Sox game at Security Services Field, Colorado Springs, dinner, team memorabilia and got to lead the crowd in “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” during the seventh inning stretch.

“Seeing the kids smile enjoying themselves, and being part of that was satisfying,” said Morey. “These children have been through a lot and for us to show them they are cared about is huge. The parents were enjoying it as much as the children.”

According to Snowball Express, many long-term friendships are formed during Snowflake and Snowball Express events. Morey witnessed it himself at the Sky Sox game.

“One thing that really got my attention was the bonding,” he said. “There were two boys who didn’t know each other before and were playing together within an hour.”

The NCOA Air Academy chapter already has the next Snowflake event planned. This time the families will gather at the United States Air Force Academy to attend the annual Air Force vs. Army football game scheduled on November 4.

For more information about Snowball Express visit: www.snowballexpress.org

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