“Growing up I was very fortunate and can remember all the magic that came together during the holiday season, especially on Christmas Eve and Christmas morning,” Zazza says. “It is something that every child should experience and to be able to do that for five families each year is amazing. I still get goose bumps thinking about the looks on the kids’ faces when they walk into ‘The North Pole’ and see Santa and Mrs. Claus and all their presents. It’s truly magical.”
The Dallas Stars Foundation has participated in the event each year and is eager to step in again this holiday season.
“The Dallas Stars are proud to be a part of Jingle Jet so that we can offer families in the metroplex who are unable to celebrate the holidays, a magical experience that they will remember for the rest of their lives,” says Carla Rosenberg, executive director of the Dallas Stars Foundation. “It’s so fulfilling to see how much happiness you can give these families that have such basic wants. It’s great that we can be a part of making their holiday special and take away their worries for a day.”
Mr. Tom Hicks, owner of the Dallas Stars and Texas Rangers, has generously donated his team plane each year to be used to fly the families to visit Santa at the “North Pole,” while the Stars’ wives and girlfriends have taken on this project as part of their community outreach. “It’s always so commendable to see the wives “step up” and contribute their time and financial support in ensuring each family’s needs are met. They are really the ones who see that nobody goes home unspoiled,” Rosenberg explains. This is truly a team effort with Mike and Mandy Modano leading the charge.
Last year, Jingle Jet provided an unforgettable holiday experience to the Overson family. Rhea and Gary Overson were nominated by their church as Gary, an uninsured father of six, battled esophageal cancer. He spent two years in and out of the hospital while Rhea struggled to make ends meet. All six children and Rhea boarded the Jingle Jet and arrived at the “North Pole” where they were pleasantly surprised with a Christmas tree, presents and the biggest gift, a surprise visit by Gary. A few months following Jingle Jet Gary passed away, but with the help of Jingle Jet the Overson’s had one last memorable holiday with their father.
We encourage Stars fans to nominate a deserving family by visiting JingleJet.com
. Nominations began Nov. 3 and will be accepted until midnight on Nov. 30. Once the nomination period has ended, the Dallas Stars Foundation, Tony and some of the players’ families will read each submission and select five families to travel on the Jingle Jet this year. The selected families will be revealed Dec. 7.
The wives will then team up and go shopping for the families via their wish lists. Families need anything from new clothes, to toys for the kids to simple household items such as milk and laundry detergent.
On December 22, the selected families will fly to the “North Pole” on the Dallas Stars’ private jet. Upon arriving at the “North Pole,” each family has a designated Christmas tree surrounded by wrapped presents and the wives are there to greet them and share in the joy. While there, the families get to meet Santa, have their faces painted, see real live reindeer and open presents they would not otherwise have received.
“For me the best thing about Jingle Jet is two-fold,” Zazza says. “To be able to lift that stress off the parents’ shoulders of not knowing how they are going to do it, is so fulfilling. And also the looks in the children's eyes and excitement that flows as they realize Santa did come and made a special early trip just for them really hits the heart. I have yet to make it through this event with a dry eye.”
Donations are greatly appreciated as they, along with our sponsors, are what make this event possible every year. You can make a donation to Jingle Jet directly or through the Dallas Stars Foundation with “Jingle Jet” in the memo.
“I want to encourage fans to make a donation, no matter how big or small, because this will help families have a holiday they would not otherwise get to experience,” Rosenberg says.To learn more about Jingle Jet, stop by the Dallas Stars Foundation table set up in rotunda two outside of section 111/112 during Dallas Stars home games Nov. 19, 21, 23, 25 and 28.
You can also visit Jinglejet.com
or check out their Facebook page on facebook.com/jinglejet
for more information and updates. See the impact this program has made by watching videos from previous Jingle Jet trips on YouTube