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THE CROWD:Campaign raises funds for Snowball Express

September 08, 2007|By B.W. COOK

“In a million years, I could never thank you for the gift you gave my daughter following the death of her father. I can never take the pain from her but with the help of Snowball Express she is able to bond with other beautiful children who share the same tragic circumstance,” said the wife of a soldier killed in Iraq.

These comments were echoed by countless parents who have lost family in the Middle East conflict.

They came to Southern California last holiday season with their children at the invitation of Snowball Express, a Costa Mesa-based organization aiming to create a network of hope for families of slain soldiers.

Snowball Express raised money to bring countless innocent conflict victims to Disneyland for a weekend of carefree pleasure.

This year, the campaign has begun raising desperately needed funds.

Organizers hope to bring more than a 1,000 children and their parents to the second annual Snowball Express Disneyland weekend, which begins Friday, Nov. 30, with a dinner and show at The Anaheim Grove.

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Actor Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band will highlight the show. On Saturday, Dec. 1, a morning Christmas celebration will take place for the kids, followed by a party thrown by the Oakley Corporation at its Orange County headquarters. On Sunday, Dec. 2, it’s a day at Disneyland.

“There’s no way to repay these families for what they have given for our freedom; we need to open our hearts to help mend those of the survivors in small towns and big cities all across America,” said organizer Trisha Marshall.“There are no votes in these efforts. No lobbying, no politics, no Republicans, no Democrats; only Americans. These people died as Americans, so let us step up as Americans to help their families. They deserve no less.”

A recent reception at the Westin South Coast Plaza Hotel in Costa Mesa launched the fundraising campaign.

Attending the cocktail party were Snowball Express board of directors chairman Roy White, vice chairman Tom Mackie, secretary Bill Mimiaga and other community members including Albert Rasch, Jr., Jeanette Chervony, Alfredo Anguiano, Greg Young, Bill White, Barry Greenberg and Al Greuger from Oakley, Inc..

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