Hosted by American Airlines and the Gary Sinise Foundation, the annual Snowball Express kicked off on Dec. 3 after a pandemic hiatus. (Photo by Beth Hollerich)

Gold Star Families Jet Off on Snowball Express

The Snowball Express—an annual event to honor Gold Star families—kicked off at Pittsburgh International Airport on Saturday after a pandemic hiatus.

The event, sponsored by American Airlines and the Gary Sinise Foundation, sends families of fallen service members, known as Gold Star families, to Disney World for an all-expenses-paid trip.

The trips include chartered aircraft operated by American employees departing for Orlando from airports across the country, including Pittsburgh.

Locally, American Airlines Flight 9708 departed on Saturday at 9:25 a.m., but the festivities began hours earlier. Airline and airport staff, representatives from the foundation, volunteers, members of the Patriot Guard Riders, military representatives and others gathered at the airport to give the families a warm send-off.

Blue Sky News was there to capture images of the event. Click on the image below to view a slideshow of the event.


Snowball Express 2022


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