A boy's regifting of a found $20 bill to a uniformed soldier inspired Highland Capital Management LP, Dallas, to issue a challenge grant to support Snowball Express Inc.
In February, 9-year-old Myles Eckert handed a $20 bill that he found in a parking lot to Lt. Col. Frank Dailey. The story quickly went viral across the globe.
Myles said “my family likes to pay it forward” in the note he wrote to the Ohio National Air Guardsman, who reminded the boy of his father, Army Sgt. Andy Eckert.
Mr. Eckert was killed while on duty when his son was 5 weeks old. His son and daughter, Marlee, then joined the 8,700-strong cadre of Gold Star children, each of whom has lost a parent who was on active military duty.
The Ohio boy's pay-it-forward gesture inspired Highland Capital co-founders Mark K. Okada, chief investment officer, and James Dondero, president, to set up a dollar-for-dollar challenge up to $1 million. Snowball Express was chosen to receive proceeds of the grant because it serves the needs of Gold Star kids, Mr. Okada said.
Snowball Express, based in Plano, Texas, has foundation assets of $225,000, according to its financial statement.
Mr. Okada said the $2 million gift will help Snowball Express bring many more children of fallen veterans together for camaraderie and the kind of healing that only comes from being together with other Gold Star kids. A four-day camp in December is the group's biggest event of the year, bringing 1,100 kids to Dallas.
Highland Capital's challenge grant ends May 26. Donations can be made online at snowballexpress.org.