Gary Sinise Took Over 1,750 Children of Fallen Soldiers to Disney World

Gary Sinise at Airport with kids taking off for Disneyland
(LA Airport Police)

Actor Gary Sinise is likely best known for his big-screen roles such as Lieutenant Dan in Forest Gump, or small screen stints on CSI:NY, but it’s what he does off-screen that has many calling him a true hero.

A longtime supporter of American armed forces and military veterans, Sinise has used his talents and celebrity to help countless military and emergency service personnel and their families, especially following the events of 9/11.

In 2010, the actor founded the Gary Sinise Foundation with a mission to “honor our defenders, veterans, first responders, their families, and those in need.” Now entering its 10th year, the foundation raises over $30 million annually which directly goes to benefit vets and their loved ones. 

Take for example Sinise’s work with Gold Star Families — those who have lost a family member in service — and his yearly Snowball Express program. For the past three years, the foundation has hosted these five-day experiences for children of fallen soldiers and their surviving parent or caregiver. Last year it was a trip to Disneyland. Not for just a few kids, which still would be admirable. No, Sinise took over 1700 Gold Star family members on the trip of a lifetime. He, his foundation, and around 1,0000 American Airlines team members who volunteered their time, ensured everyone would make it to the event.

“You cannot underestimate the power of bringing all these kids together in a happy environment because we’re trying to bring joy to them right before the holidays, which is a difficult time for a child who’s lost a parent,” Sinise shared for an interview in The Hollywood Reporter.  “So bringing all these kids together at the happiest place on earth was very, very special.”

While the trips are a great way to provide a little joy around the holidays, Sinise’s foundation also provides services such as counseling and group activities that help focus on the healing side of things. “It’s heartwarming because it makes you feel good to see the kids laughing and having a fun time, but it’s also heartbreaking because you know why they’re there.”

Earlier this year, friends, celebrities and veterans impacted by his work, honored Sinise in a tribute video that had the actor on an emotional rollercoaster as he watched. Actors, directors, and industry peers joined military heavyweights like Gen. Colin Powell who sent messages of thanks and gratitude. “Thank you for all the things you have done for our men and women who have served our nation,” Powell remarks in the clip. “Not only what you’ve done for them but for their children, what you’ve done for their families, what you’ve done to help them rebuild their lives.”

While we’re not all famous celebrities with a Rolodex of famous friends, Sinise and his foundation stress the importance just once small act can make. The foundation encourages everyone to share a comment or video expressing their thanks to someone in their own lives who shows kindness and dedication to others using the hashtag #GratefulLkeGary.

Hats off to Sinise and all the other celebrities who use their fame to raise awareness and donations for such important causes.

Jason Momoa to Play Frosty the Snowman in Live-Action Movie

Momoa is Frosty
(Getty/ gotpap/Bauer-Griffin)

Remember when people were furious over Michael Keaton being cast as Batman, or over Daniel Craig being cast as James Bond, or over Ben Affleck being cast as Batman, or over Robert Pattinson being cast as Batman?

Wait ’til you get a load of this. To tide us over while we wait for a TWINS remake with Jason Momoa and Peter Dinklage….

There’s a live-action big-screen version of Frosty the Snowman in the works, for some reason, and yesterday Deadline announced that the people behind the big-budget holiday flick have found the perfect person to play their walking balls of snow: Jason Momoa!

Before you start crying and beseeching God and lighting yourselves on fire, take a second to think about it. He’s already played Aquaman, and what is Frosty the Snowman is not a different kind of water? THE MORE YOU KNOW!

“From his role as a fearsome count in a land of ice and fire to the oceanic success we all had with Aquaman, it felt only right to realize Jason this time out of snow,” said producer Jon Berg.

The former and future superhero will only be voicing the snowman, so the role won’t be relying on his legendary brawn. Instead, it seems the people behind this movie focused more on Momoa’s inner warmth.

Producer Greg Silverman explained, “We know Jason’s as a true human being filled with love, compassion and a deep connection to ohana — all of which is the living spirit of Xmas and Frosty.”

I have to admit that I’m not well-versed in Frosty’s lore, having only the animated cartoons from my childhood to lean on. But I do remember the guy was quite friendly, as one would expect of a Christmas icon, and Momoa’s intimidating, smoldering looks aside, he does have a solid reputation as a good guy.

Let’s just hope all his hotness doesn’t melt the snow!

Epic Dog Pool Party

Father Figures: Transformed

“When we first met and started dating, Spiro made a point to tell me he never wanted children. He wanted to make sure that was okay with me if our relationship were to go further. It wasn’t, but I really, really liked him.

A Greek immigrant, he arrived in Florida at the age of 13 with limited language skills and no understanding of American culture. Spiro was never given the opportunity to have a positive parental experience. Often hurt by the people who were meant to protect him, abandoned by those who were supposed to care, and forced to fend for both his own and his two younger siblings’ protection and well-being, it’s not hard to understand why he had so many negative feelings towards raising children.

Over the years, we married, bought a house, and watched our friends become parents. We’d spent nearly a decade creating a happy, harmonious life, but his disdain for becoming a father had started to wane. Thoughts of ‘what if?’ began to creep in, then settle.

One day, he said, “let’s try it.”

When I told him we were expecting, I never fathomed the overwhelming wave of change that would come over him. He was transformed. Our first daughter was born in November 2016, and she brought a whole new side of my husband with her.

Spiro swung open his closet doors, removed the skeletons, and replaced them with bedtime stories, bubble baths, and princess shoes. He threw every ounce of himself at being the most supportive, loving, strong, present father possible. Sometimes he cries when he looks at her (he’d hate me telling you that) out of sheer joy.

Today, instead of avoiding a place of pain, he is using his childhood as a road map of what to avoid, and for examples of whom he does and doesn’t want to be.

He is the absolute best father I know. And because of his strength, fortitude, and willingness to let go of what held him back, both he and our daughter are flourishing.

PS: I even got a second daughter out of him! She’s six months now and Spiro’s crushing the whole two kids thing, too!

– Jamie Cladio (Spiro IG: @spiridon23)

Want to share a story about fatherhood? Email [email protected]

Check out the previous editions of Father Figures here.

Jamie Foxx Confirms He’ll Play Mike Tyson in Biopic

Foxx to Play Tyson
(Getty/ Al Bello)

There are few athletes in recent American history as provocative as Mike Tyson. The former heavyweight champion of the world was feared inside and outside of the ring, often as much for his erratic behavior as for his fearsome punching power.

Even aside from his legendary run as a boxer and his stint in prison, Tyson’s lisp, his face tattoo, and his strange proclamations (“I want to eat his children!”) made him a fascinating character. Despite a few documentaries and even a stage show, there has yet to be a biopic of the boxer. That may be about to change.

For six years now, a Mike Tyson movie project has been in the works, with Jamie Foxx set to star, but numerous delays and setbacks cast doubt on the fact that it will ever hit theaters. Now it seems like it may actually happen. Last week, Foxx was interviewed on Instagram Live by Hollywood producer Mark Birnbaum, and he confirmed that the movie is going forward, and he is indeed going to play the notorious boxer.

“It’s a definitive yes,” Foxx told Birnbaum. “Doing biographies is a tough thing. Sometimes it takes 20 years to get it done but we officially got the real ball rolling. I can’t wait to show people what it is.”

 

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The greatest of our generation for the hour Jamie Foxx

A post shared by Mark Birnbaum (@markbirnbaum) on

Foxx, a former comedian and gifted mimic who rose to prominence playing a quarterback in Oliver Stone’s Any Given Sunday and won an Oscar for portraying Ray Charles, is committed to some drastic weight change to transform himself into Iron Mike.

Speaking to Birnbaum, Foxx showed viewers a photo of his bulked-up physique discussed the work he’s doing to become the boxer, which includes 60 pull-ups, 60 dips, and 100 push-ups every other day as he aims to be between 216 and 230 pounds for the movie, which will portray Tyson through the years.

“I saw him at the height of his career, and then when things got bad and bumpy I also saw him as well. So what I’m excited about the movie is to show those moments,” he added. “I think everyone, young and old, will be able to understand this man’s journey.”

Tyson’s story is pretty insane, so it will be fun to see it on the big screen. Can Foxx pull it off? We’ll see. But we already know he can do the voice!

30 Awesome Happy Birthday Quotes and Sayings For Dads Near and Far

happy birthday dad quotes and sayings
(Getty/Cultura Exclusive/Monty Rakusen)

So, you bought a birthday card for your dad. If he’s anything like our dad, he’ll probably grumble about cards being a waste of money. Most cards inevitably end up in the big bag of wrapping paper trash or to the evening bonfire. Want to be the envy of your siblings by giving him the one and only card your dad ever decides to keep? These happy birthday-centered quotes and sayings hit just the right note of meaningful and fun. We guarantee Dad will cry at the sentimental ones… or at least scowl at the card for an uncomfortably long time. And the silly messages ought to earn you at least a smirk. Right? You know your dad better than us. Pick the right one for the reaction you’re looking for and we’re sure you’ll get it.

Sentimental Birthday Messages For Dad

1 The best dad ever deserves the best birthday ever. Happy birthday and enjoy!

2. Everyone thinks their dad is the best and everyone is wrong.
I have the best dad and today is his birthday. I hope it’s as great as you are.

3. Today I honor the man I admire most in life. Happy birthday, Dad!

4. I wasn’t always the best kid, but you were always the best dad.
Happy birthday to the world’s best dad.

5. Dad, I thought I’d grow out of seeing you as a superhero. It turns out, your powers have only gotten stronger with age. Happy birthday, Super Dad.

6. Happy birthday, Dad! I thought you were amazing (and amusing) since the day I first met you.

7. I tried to make a list of the gifts you’ve given me so I could pay you back. But, your love and guidance are priceless. Happy birthday, Dad!

8. Thanks for being the kind of dad who stands beside their kid, even when they’re wrong.
We both know I was wrong a lot. Happy birthday and I love you.

9. Listen up, because I’m only going to say this once (maybe twice) this year: I’m so thankful you’re my dad. Happy birthday!

Birthday Messages That Go The Distance

10. I learned how to hug from you, Dad.
If I were there, I’d give you the biggest, best birthday hug.

11. If I were physically there with you as often as you’ve been emotionally “there” for me, we’d be really sick of each other by now. I miss you, though, and wish we were celebrating together.

12. My heart has no idea just how far away you are today, Dad.
No matter where we are or how far apart, I always carry you in it. Happy birthday.

13. Dad, your love has always gone the distance.
Just like this birthday card.

14. This card is so lucky! It gets to be with you on your birthday.

Funny Birthday Messages For Dad

15. Happy birthday to one of my favorite parents.

16. Happy birthday, Dad! Thanks for teaching me that nothing is impossible.
Which reminds me, can I borrow a million dollars?

17. Hope you have a great birthday, Dad. Just be home by 10.

18. Ever notice that the worse a dad’s jokes are, the better father he is?
That explains why your jokes are sooooo bad!
Hope your birthday is more than a few groans.

19. Today is the day we take time to honor the man we admire most in our lives.
So, what do you miss most about President Obama?

20. Happy birthday, Dad!
I always knew I could count on you for great advice… and a little bit of cash.

21. On your birthday, Dad, I thought we could remember some of your most important lessons:
Keep your word.
Hold doors for people behind you.
Never trust a ladder or a fart.

22. Happy birthday to the world’s okayest dad!

23. Happy birthday to the world’s best farter — they’re silent but dadly.

24. Dad. You said all you wanted for your birthday was to spend time together, so I’ve included a list of things that need to be fixed at my house. I’ll hold the flashlight.

Cute Birthday Sayings That Are Actually All About You

25. Happy birthday from your favorite kid!

26. Happy birthday from your greatest creation.

27. Happy birthday to the man who will always be my first call from jail!

28. For your birthday, Dad, I’m giving you the day off from helping me with my problems.
But, keep your phone on in case of an emergency.

29. Wow, Dad! (Age) year old and still kickin’. If my teen years didn’t kill you, nothing will.
(You can always change this up as a tease on a more rebellious sibling.)

30. Dad, where would I be without you?
Follow-up question: Where would you be without me?
Here’s to hoping we don’t find out either of those answers for many more birthdays.

Daughter Surprises Stepdad With Every Inspirational Post-It Note He Wrote Her

Post-It Notes Collage
(Twitter/Sophia_Kallie)

If you’re looking for a cool gift for your dad, The Dad Shop never closes. But if you’re looking to put something more sentimental together, inspiration can be found in one of the great all-time Father’s Day gifts

Check out what this daughter in Maryland did. She surprised her stepdad on Father’s Day with a collage of inspirational Post-It notes he had written for her every single day during middle school. She surprised him last year and he begins to tear up once he realizes what he was looking at.

“These are all your notes,” he said. The girl sweetly responded, “I kept them all. I love you.”

She posted the video on Twitter, where it rightly and justly went viral. Of course, it also sets the bar pretty dang high for everyone else. More than six million viewed the Father’s Day reveal.

So, while there’s still time, just scurry together some sort of emotional, DIY gift encompassing an ongoing supportive ritual and involves a half-decade of record-keeping, and you should be good to go. Your dad will love it, the internet will love it, and you will be left wondering how you’ll ever top it.

Or, we can always bail you out.

Beavis and Butt-Head are Coming Back and They’re Dads

Beavis Butthead are Dads
(Mike Judge/MTV)

Beavis and Butt-Head are making a triumphant return. And just like Bill and Ted, this time, they’re dads. Turns out heavy metal fans turned out just fine. The pop-culture smash of the early-mid 1990s is being reimagined for a new generation as Comedy Central announced a revival, including a two-season commitment to the show and raising the possibility of other spin-offs.

The characters are being rebooted as Gen X parents raising their Gen Z kids.

The announcement is part of an overall deal with creator Mike Judge, who will write and produce the show, in addition to reprising his role as the voice actors for the two main characters.

“Beavis and Butt-Head were a defining voice of a generation, and we can’t wait to watch as they navigate the treacherous waters of a world light-years from their own,” said a spokesman from Comedy Central.

In the briefest of statements, Judge himself said “It seemed like the time was right to get stupid again.”

Judge has since cemented his status as a comedy guru in the intervening years from the show’s first run (Beavis and Butt-head debuted in 1993), thanks to creating movies like “Office Space” and other TV comedy hits “King of the Hill” and more recently, “Silicon Valley.”

The revival is part of Comedy Central’s efforts to double down on animated content geared towards adults, as they try to program more shows to pair with “South Park.”

The news is already firing up fans on social media, who are mostly reduced to GIFs and an endless stream of “heh heh heh ehehs”.

It’s going to be great.

7-Year-Old Twins Find Massive Success in Legal Lemonade Operation

7-Year-Old Twins Find Massive Success in Legal Lemonade Operation
(YouTube/CBS News)

If there’s anything I’ve learned about kids, it’s that once they have a plan in mind there isn’t a whole lot you can do to stop them. When a picture of twins Kamari and Kamera’s lemonade stand was posted online, some grump questioned whether or not the 7-year-olds had a permit (seriously). Let’s see – mix powder with water, get cups, set up a table, make a paper sign with crayon – no, filling out permit papers was not on these 7-year-olds’ lemonade stand to-do list. Fortunately, this slight bump in the road was no match for the unshakable spirit of two kids with a plan (especially a plan that involves money).

Having a lemonade stand is a right of passage for every kid with an entrepreneurial spirit, and Kamari and Kamera of Savannah, Georgia weren’t about to let it slip away. The girls didn’t stop selling their “twin-monade”, as they call it. In fact, they filled out the necessary forms and actually got themselves a lemonade stand permit (I assume that’s what it’s called, I’m not a lawyer). Upon reopening, the twins were flooded with support from their community. There is consistently a line to purchase one of the many flavors of ice-cold lemonade the girls have on tap. In fact, on Juneteenth, there was an hour-long wait to buy a glass of twin-monade. There was quite literally a line down the block to support these two mini entrepreneurs. The girls have even made enough money from their lemonade sales to buy themselves phones.

“The fact that their parents didn’t let them get shut down and they just continued to encourage them that much, I think it’s really important”, a satisfied customer told CBS News.

These two small business owners overcame a potentially devastating roadblock and kept their adorable smiles through the entire ordeal.

If your little lemonade tycoon is having trouble with the law, check out Country Time Lemonade’s “Legal-Ade” campaign in which they help kids obtain permits for lemonade stands. The lemonade mogul will also reimburse fines of up to $300 for kids who get caught running a lemonade operation without a permit. It’s a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it. We raise our glasses (of lemonade) to all the kids out there keeping the age-old tradition of selling this refreshing summer staple alive.

Dog Buys Ice Cream From Ice Cream Truck