What began as one Cypress businessman giving back to the community has turned into creating joy for children with cancer.
Ed Newby came up with the idea for Operation Snow Storm when one of his children noted it would be great if it snowed in Houston. That idea turned into giving children who may never get the opportunity to see or experience snow a chance to take part in a winter wonderland.
“Even on a hot summer day, we try to show that anything is possible with cancer,” Newby said. “It shows there are miracles, you just sometimes have to manufacture them.”
The organization aims to find out when children come home from the hospital or hospice care. Then they provide the families with a special event: a snow party in their front yard by blowing 10,000 pounds of snow, which lasts six to eight hours. Last year Newby hosted a party for a young girl in Cypress, and after receiving letters from family members, he decided he needed to do it on a larger level.
Newby’s calculations revealed he needed $2,000 to host a snow party. He hosted his first fundraiser in March at Tin Hall with snow, a raffle, an auction and a barbecue cookoff contest. The fundraiser ended up raising about $32,000.
“It was a phenomenal turnout,” he said. “I was able to get Mark Chestnutt, a country singer from Beaumont, to donate a guitar. That fundraiser has helped things go great.”
The fundraiser helped Newby manufacture his own equipment, and he would like to do as many parties as he can—possibly even a large event in the Texas Medical Center. Newby said his goal is to help children with cancer not worry about tubes or tests, but instead make snow angels and give their families a moment of happiness.
The organization has also turned into a family affair—Newby’s wife, Sarah, and his four children are often involved in the parties. Up next for the organization is securing its nonprofit tax-exempt status. Once Operation Snow Storm has its 501(c)(3) status, Newby plans to begin soliciting corporate donors.
“[The government] has to see what you are doing in the community,” he said. “We’ve raised $32,000, and that shows that we are a serious entity that is going to stay around.”