FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THURSDAY, JULY 18, 2014
Contact: Ilene Greenfield
Director of Media Relations
201-291-1111, ext. 1-5122
BERKELEY COLLEGE SPONSORS SNOWBALL EXPRESS
OUTING FOR FAMILIES OF FALLEN U.S. TROOPS
The New York Mets game on Sunday, July 6, seemed like any other day at Citi Field. But in the crowd was a special group of fans – the families of fallen U.S. troops. The outing was inspired by Snowball Express, an organization dedicated to creating happy memories for the children of servicemembers, and was sponsored by Berkeley College, an institution that has been recognized for its dedication to the military.
“Berkeley College was proud to honor the sacrifice of the 19 military families who attended this year’s event,” said Richard E. Robitaille, EdD, Berkeley College Assistant Vice President, Office of Military and Veterans Affairs, adding that this is the fourth year Berkeley has been a sponsor. “Through Snowflake Events, families who have shared tremendous loss can come together to make happy memories.”
The Snowflake Event at Citi Field included an autograph session with Mets players Eric Campbell, Jenrry Mejia, Josh Edgin and Vic Black, as well as a keepsake baseball and souvenirs. The children also were invited onto the field to run the bases after the game. Snowflake Events are sponsored regionally during the year, in addition to a Snowball Express main event held annually in Texas.
Shalan Webb of Fair Haven, NJ, lost her husband, Army Staff Sgt. Chris Webb, in Baghdad in 2007. Ms. Webb attended the event with her daughter, Mary, who was six months old when her father was killed.
“Snowball Express reminds us that there are people who care about our loss – who remember our loved ones,” said Ms. Webb. “It’s a safe place for the children to talk about their dads. I love spending time with the other widows. We all get it.”
Ms. Webb said she and Mary, now 7, have attended other baseball games and a movie premiere through Snowball Express.
“As single parents, we do everything – the job of both mom and dad,” said Ms. Webb. “Snowball Express allows us to enjoy special events with our children so they have our full attention. Spending time with my daughter and doing something special with her creates awesome memories for us both.”
Jason Araghi, Board Member and Snowflake Event Coordinator for Snowball Express, said supporters are an important part of the Snowball Express mission.
“Because of great sponsors at Berkeley College, along with our friends at the New York Mets, we were able to again host a terrific event at Citi Field for our Snowball Express kids and families,” said Mr. Araghi. “Snowflake Events provide our kids with an opportunity to create happy new memories and, as important, give each of us a chance to recognize, thank and appreciate these special children and families for the sacrifice their loved ones have made for our country.”
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. Visit www.snowballexpress.org
About Berkeley College
Approximately 500 military students and veterans are enrolled at Berkeley College in New York and New Jersey, and through Berkeley College Online®. The College recently received the Patriot Award from the Office of the Secretary of Defense Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve for its support of employees serving in the military. The College was recognized in 2014 by U.S. News and World Report for its Best Online Programs for Veterans and was named a military-friendly school by Military Advanced Education, Military Times, U.S. Veterans and G.I. Jobs magazines.
A leader in providing career-focused education for more than 80 years, Berkeley College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and enrolls approximately 8,000 students – including more than 900 international students – in its Baccalaureate and Associate degree and Certificate programs. The College has three New York locations – Midtown Manhattan, Brooklyn and White Plains. In New Jersey there are six locations – Woodland Park, Paramus, Woodbridge, Newark, Clifton and Dover. Berkeley College Online® also offers full degree programs. Programs are offered in more than 20 career fields. The website address is www.BerkeleyCollege.edu
Photo Caption: Mary Webb of Fair Haven, NJ, smiles with Mets pitcher Josh Edgin at a Snowflake Event inspired by Snowball Express and sponsored by Berkeley College. Ms. Webb lost her father, Army Staff Sgt. Chris Webb, in Baghdad in 2007. Snowball Express is an organization dedicated to creating happy memories for the children of fallen U.S. troops.
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