Below is an email I sent to my friends and family. Thought many of you in the RV community might be intersted....
Kurt Klewin, RV6A, OKC, OK
Iraqi Freedom Veteran/Current USAF Reservist and parttime Marathon Runner
Once again I’m back into my training regime for my annual spring marathon. After last years trashing my thighs took on the hill of Nashville I’ve decided to run Oklahoma City again. It’s a fairly flat and fast course that has become one of my favorite marathons. It is well organized and a very enjoyable event.
I do have one major change for this year’s run. I’ve decided to run this year’s event for a purpose a bit greater than my continued quest for 3 hours of pain followed by 3 days of difficulty walking.
I’ve decided to run this year and raise money for an organization called Snowball Express. As some of you may know, Snowball Express is a non-profit organization that raises money to send spouses and children of service members who have lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan . Every December Snowball Express flies these families to Disney Land for 3 days of activities. We as a nation get the unique opportunity to express our sincere gratitude to these very special spouses and children.
You can visit the Snowball Express website at: www.snowballexpress.org
to learn more about them. Some of the videos and pictures will melt your heart. They are a registered 501(c)3 corporation and all contributions to them are tax deductible. They are very unique in that 98 cents of every dollar in contributions goes directly to the families. All the members of the board of directors and the staff at Snowball Express are volunteers.
A fellow pilot I fly with at Southwest, Roy White, is chairman of Snowball Express and it was through Roy that I became aware of the great deeds done by this wonderful organization and its dedicated volunteers. As a company, Southwest Airlines, along with other great companies like: American Airlines, Oakley, Air Tran Airlines, Baskin Robbins, Taco Bell, UPS, Best Western, Coach America and Disney Land Resorts pour their hearts into this great cause. It costs about $500 to send one child or family member to the 3 day event in California . Efforts by the employees of these companies and thousands of individuals provided funding to send over 1200 family members to the 2007 event.
If you find Snowball Express a noble cause and would like to sponsor me during my Oklahoma City Marathon please drop me an email. I know we all get mailings and phone calls from many worthwhile organizations, but if you have been looking for a really good place for your chartable giving Snowball Express is a great organization.
You don't have to send any money now. I will simply take pledges from now until the day of the race on 27 April 2008. For a 30 day period after the race I will send everyone that has pledged their support an email with instructions on how to send in your donation and obtain your tax deductible receipt.
If you wish to donate simply email me with your name, mailing address, email address, amount of your donation (it can be anything really, even $1 helps), and if you wish to receive my email updates every few weeks. (You can also just copy and paste the document below into your email and fill in the blanks). I’ve also posted one example of how Snowball Express has help one family below this email. It’s worth a minute of reading.
Thanks for taking the time to read about Snowball Express. Please forward this email to anyone that you feel might be interested in helping our veteran’s families.
AMOUNT OF PLEDGE:
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Story from a Snowball Express Volunteer:
I spoke to a young woman in Florida today about travel arrangements. She shared with me the following story:
She has two children. She was pregnant with her 2nd child when her husband left for Iraq . Her oldest son was only 4 when his father was killed. At the funeral of her husband, protestors burned flags and had signs that said, “Thank God for IEDs”. This was the memory that burned in her son’s mind and caused him to be very confused about why his father had died and what his service to our country really meant. As they drove to Oakley Saturday morning, as they saw the lined streets with the hundreds of cheering Boy Scouts and families holding welcoming signs, the boy began to cry again. His mother began to comfort him, assuming he was crying because the scene invoked visions of the last time he had seen this, protestors at his father’s funeral. Through her tears, as they could see the signs of support and cheering crowds, she told her confused son they were not protestors but were supporters and were there to celebrate the families’ arrival to Oakley and show their respect for their service and sacrifice.
“So Mom, there are folks who loved my father and our family?” The mother replied with a simple “Yes, there are.”
And with that simple question and answer, she said her son’s attitude changed dramatically that weekend and forever on how he viewed his father, his death and his service to our country. As they drove up to Oakley the boy continued to cry but not for the same reason as the first set of tears. He was now smiling and knew the price of freedom he and his family had paid was recognized by others. Only through the eyes of a child could that story be told so poignantly on what Snowball Express meant to this family and to so many other families.
Please donate to our cause so more families can share in this unique experience for children and spouses. We hope you will tell others also.