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Actor/Humanitarian Gary Sinise “Pays It Forward” with Donation That Will Help Organization to Serve More than 8,000 Gold Star Children

Challenge Grant Gifts Will be Matched Through Memorial Day

DALLAS, March 21, 2014 – Snowball Express, which provides service and support to children of the nation’s fallen military heroes, today announced that actor/humanitarian Gary Sinise has donated $75,000 through his Gary Sinise Foundation toward Highland Capital Management’s unprecedented $1 million challenge grant for the organization. Sinise

Sinise’s generous gift is the largest so far in the challenge. As announced earlier this month, Highland Capital Management will match donations made to Snowball Express up to $1 million through Memorial Day, May 26, 2014. That means every donor gift will have double the impact and Sinise’s donation is now $150,000 for Snowball Express.

Launched in 2011, the Gary Sinise Foundation serves our nation by honoring its defenders, veterans, first responders, their families and those in need by creating and supporting unique programs designed to entertain, educate, inspire, strengthen and build communities. In addition, Gary Sinise and his Lt. Dan Band, a program of GSF, play concerts globally for service members and their families and have played 6 concerts in the past 7 years for the Snowball kids.

“My foundation and I are extremely proud to make this donation to Snowball Express, especially knowing that because of Highland Capital’s generosity, it will double in size,” Sinise said. “I have been involved with Snowball Express from its very early years and I know firsthand how impactful it is in changing the lives of our nation’s Gold Star kids and bringing smiles to their faces. These children need our support and I encourage others to join this generous challenge from Highland Capital.”

“We thank Gary Sinise and his foundation for this generous gift,” said Francis Kern, Executive Director of Snowball Express. “Gary has long been one of our biggest supporters, always making time to be there for the children we serve.  His donation today is another in a long line of generous acts aimed toward supporting military families.”

Every year, Snowball Express helps more than 1,200 children who have lost a parent in the military since 9/11. Donations such as those from The Gary Sinise Foundation and Highland Capital Management as well as the ongoing support of the organization’s Presenting Sponsor, American Airlines, will help Snowball Express serve more of the 8,000-plus Gold Star children in the U.S.

James Dondero, Co-Founder and President of Highland, was moved to create the challenge grant after hearing the story of Myles Eckert, the eight-year-old Ohio boy who gave a $20 bill he found to a uniformed member of the Air National Guard. “We like to pay it forward in my family,” Myles wrote in his note.

“We are grateful that Gary has joined Highland’s $1 Million Snowball Express Challenge,” said Dondero. “We are confident that his passionate advocacy for veterans will encourage other individuals and organizations to step forward.”

Snowball Express brings Gold Star children together from all over the world for a four-day life changing experience that provides a fun, nurturing environment that makes each child feel special and gives them an opportunity to share their feelings about losing something so precious, their parent. More than 2,500 children have attended events since Snowball Express was founded in 2006.

Gifts can be provided through or by texting “snowball” to 41444. For more information, please visit our website, or call our toll-free information line at 866-618-4601.

About Snowball Express

Snowball Express is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that raises awareness and funds for programs that serve the children of America’s fallen military service members who have made the ultimate sacrifice since 9/11. We honor America’s fallen military service members who have died since 9/11 by humbly serving the families they left behind. We champion their children’s future success by creating opportunities for joy, friendship, and communal healing, by connecting these families to one another, as well as others inspired to support their cause. Since 2006, the mission of Snowball Express has been a simple, yet profoundly important one: Provide hope and new happy memories to the children of military fallen heroes.

About the Gary Sinise Foundation

The Foundation serves the nation by honoring its defenders, veterans, first responders, their families and those in need by creating and supporting unique programs designed to entertain, educate, inspire, strengthen and build communities.  These include its R.I.S.E. Outreach (Restoring Independence and Supporting Empowerment) for wounded heroes and their families overcoming the challenges they face from injuries sustained in service of our nation. Both through the Foundation’s efforts and through their Building for America’s Bravest partner program with Tunnel to Towers Foundation, the Gary Sinise Foundation is constructing one-of-a-kind Smart Homes all across the country, each for a wounded hero, their caregivers and family.  Other programs include Relief & Resiliency Outreach, Invincible Spirit Festivals, Serving Heroes and Arts & Entertainment Outreach. The Foundation has also partnered with GE on their Get Skills to Work program to help veterans translate military skills into advanced manufacturing jobs while empowering employers with tools to recruit, onboard and mentor veterans. For more information, please visit

About Highland Capital Management

Highland Capital Management is an SEC-registered investment adviser which, together with its affiliates, has approximately $19 billion of assets under management. Founded in 1993 by Jim Dondero and Mark Okada, Highland is one of the largest and most experienced global alternative credit managers. Highland’s strategies include collateralized loan obligations (CLOs), high yield bonds, distressed credit, public and private equities, structured products and natural resources.

Source: Snowball Express

Media Contact:
Tom Becker
Danielle Newman
Sitrick And Company c/o Snowball Express

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