NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – The Snowball Express made a stop at Norfolk International Airport Saturday to take children and families of fallen servicemembers on a special trip to Walt Disney World.

The Snowball Express is part of the Gary Sinise Foundation, which supports families as they are encouraged to make new memories and gives them opportunities to connect with people who understand what they have been through.

The foundation will be hosting more than 1,900 family members of fallen servicemembers at Walt Disney World, and American Airlines, the Snowball Express’ presenting sponsor, is providing numerous charter flights to bring them to Orlando. The event is back after a two-year pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Families will travel on 11 donated American Airlines charter aircraft that are being staffed with all-volunteer crews, and the charters will make stops in 22 cities across the U.S., with hundreds of additional participants traveling from across the world, including Guam, Japan and west Africa.

The families will spend five days at Walt Disney World – Dec. 3-7 – and will honor their fallen loved one while building relationships and making memories in what’s described as a warm and welcoming environment.

The sendoff took place at Concourse A at the American Airlines ticket counter.