The NCOA Rogue Chapter, working in conjunction with the Grants Pass Active Club, recently hosted their second Snowflake event. Snowball Express families traveled from as far away as Santa Rosa, CA, to participate in Boatnik which is a weekend of jet boat racing, parades and a carnival.
The kids started out with a jet boat dinner cruise down the Rogue River to Hellgate Canyon, memorialized in the John Wayne classic Rooster Cogburn. At dinner the kids were surprised by an active duty Air Force pilot who lost his father in Vietnam. He told them of the power that moms have in bringing the best out of kids in difficult situations. The kids loved his talk and gave him big hugs. On Saturday, many of the kids rode a float in the annual Boatnik Parade which is the second largest parade in Oregon before heading to the carnival. After a few days of fun and watching jet boats run up and down the river – some traveling 180MPH, the families took a break at a local pizza parlor where everyone gathered to wind down and share thanks for a wonderful 3-day weekend.
NCOA Rogue Chapter Chairman Terry Haines commented, “Making a difference in just a few kids’ lives makes it all worth it. The local community stepped up and I would venture to say that there are a lot of communities out there where chapters could do the same thing. After all, these kids have lost a lot and NCOA can help these kids get a little bit back by showing them that this country cares!”