Five-year old girl gets weekend getaway to help with loss of father

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POSTED: Friday, November 30, 2012 - 5:00pm

UPDATED: Friday, November 30, 2012 - 5:04pm

Christmas came a little early for one Baton Rouge girl Friday. With the generosity of American and American Eagle Airlines, she will be heading on all expense paid trip this weekend with her mother.

Anna Lee is a 4-year-old full of energy and hope. You would never think she lost her dad, but she did.

"I liked his army clothes," said Anna Lee.

"It would make my son so proud to see that his service is appreciated and people treating his daughter with such dignity and respect more ways than one," Alice Daniel, Lee’s grandmother, added.

Anna Lee and her mother are being given the ultimate treatment with the help of American Eagle Airlines. They are being escorted to the airport by motorcycles, smothered in treats and gifts, and then flown away on an airplane. NBC33 asked Anna Lee if she was excited to go on an airplane and she shook her head with excitement.

Dallas, Texas is the destination of choice for these two, where they will be attending the “Snow Ball Express". It was created in the aftermath of 9/11. It’s a fun filled weekend for children and families who have lost loved ones on active duty.

"Some of the children have been going for several years and they meet up with children that have gone through the same experiences that they have gone through over the years," Danice Cardona, Compliance Coordinator for Baton Rouge Metro Airport, noted.

And Anna Lee’s mother knows with the help of events like these, things will get easier.

”It’s been rough for me and it's all about her and the other kids Snowball Express, as well as other things like good grief camp really helped Anna come out of her shell and know that there are other kids like her,” said Anna Lees mother, Jill Daniel

Even though Anna Lee is alone now, she won't be for long.

"This particular flight only has one child but it's meeting up with children from all over the world,” said Cardona. “We have some international children and families coming to be with us at Snowball Express and it’s a huge event to celebrate the lives of the families that were left behind."

Anna Lee is one of 1,700 children that will be heading to the “Snowball Express” this weekend.

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