The collective spirit of togetherness and remembrance of the unwavering bravery of 9/11’s fallen heroes will be shared by an expected 30,000-plus people during the eleventh annual Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers 5K Run/Walk on Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012, which starts at 9:30 a.m. New York City’s most beloved 9/11 remembrance event gives participants the chance to physically retrace the footsteps of Stephen Siller, the late FDNY firefighter who made the ultimate sacrifice during his heroic efforts to rescue survivors of the Sept. 11 terrorist attack.
The Tunnel to Towers Run is open to the public. Registration is required, along with a $50 donation per participant before September 24, and $75 after this date. A $10 increase in donation is required for those running with a timing chip. This year, participants can register and fundraise at the Foundation’s new site, www.T2TRun.org, which for the first time in the organization’s history, allows participants to:
- Create profile pages which include personal stories, applicable photography and allows them to dedicate their page to a personal hero.
- Compete on a favorite team, represent a community or state, or select a favorite service group.
- Earn Tunnel to Towers-themed virtual badges and recruit friends to join their team to help raise funds for American heroes, in need of help.
- Raise funds and earn prizes such as official Tunnel to Towers hats, t-shirts and experiences.
Participants can also register by mail or in-person. Race day registration will take place at the IKEA parking lot in Brooklyn between 7:30 a.m. and 9 a.m. Timing chips will not be given out on race day.
A special addition to this year’s events includes a free concert by Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band. The concert will take place directly following the Tunnel to Towers Run’s closing ceremonies. This appearance is one of many that Sinise and his band have made this year in support of the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation and Gary Sinise Foundation partnership, “Building for America’s Bravest.” This year, the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation and the Gary Sinise Foundation are in the process of building specially adapted “Smart Homes” from coast to coast for 11 of our brave servicemen who have severe injuries and special needs. The money raised during the New York City Tunnel to Towers Run will go toward building these “Smart Homes.”
More than 30,000 participants from all across the world, from as far away as England, Alaska and Hawaii are expected to embark upon New York City to attend the Run/Walk. Since the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation’s inception in 2002, this annual event and other related fundraising activities have raised more than $15 million for military causes, burn victims, the Freedom Alliance Scholarship Fund, orphans, Katrina relief, “Building for America’s Bravest” and other causes.
Other event highlights include:
- Dennis Miller, John Turturro, and former NYC Mayor, Rudy Giuliani will be sharing their thoughts on the 10-year anniversary of 9/11 at the finish line of the race. Sal Cassano, New York City Fire Commissioner and Edward S. Kildruff, FDNY’s Chief of Department, will also be in attendance.
- War veterans and the first quadruple amputees to survive the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Todd Nicely and Brendan Marrocco, will be in attendance. Marrocco received a custom-built “smart home” through the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Tower and Gary Sinise Foundations’ program, “Building for America’s Bravest”. Nicely, who is training to participate in the event, will also receive a “smart” home. Other veterans planning to attend include, Joe Wilkinson, Juan Dominguez, J.B. Kerns, Todd Love, Adam Keys, Michael Schlitz, Taylor Morris, Travis Mills, and Bryan Dilberian.
- A contingent of 2,500 West Point cadets, 200 firefighters from London and others representing 30 different countries will be on hand to honor those who perished in the terrorist attack.
- The event will culminate in a carnival-like celebration, including musical acts, free refreshments, performance artists, and activities for kids and more.
The run starts at 9:30 a.m. sharp on the Gowanus approach to the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, goes through the Tunnel, north onto West Street, left onto Liberty Street, to Battery Park Esplanade, right (east) on Warren Street, right (south) onto West Street and finishes at West & Vesey Streets, across from the World Trade Center.
Please note: strollers, bicycles and backpacks are not allowed. For frequently asked questions, click here: http://www.tunneltotowersrun.org/nyc_run_faq.aspx
“This event began as a way to honor Stephen and his firefighter brothers,” said Frank Siller, one of Stephen’s siblings and the chairman of the Foundation. “Over the years, through an influx of volunteers, donations and interest, it has continued to grow and evolve. It is now, without question, the one annual event that not only celebrates the lives of everyone who was lost that day, but provides a forum for remembrance of the past and a life-affirming event for the future.”
Although named after Stephen, the Run was created to honor the lives of the 343 firefighters who perished that day, as well as pay special tribute to all the policemen, EMTs, construction workers and all the special people who lost their lives in their quest to save others.
A special “Brother for Brother” Firefighter Remembrance Program is undertaken each year by firehouses from all over the country. By competing in the 5K event, these firefighters raise money for the Foundation and for the burn center of their choice. Also, they will stand shoulder to shoulder inside the tunnel next to members of the FDNY holding American flags and banners depicting the portraits of the 343 fallen heroes.
Communities throughout the country and across the world will have the opportunity to commemorate the day as nearly 70 Tunnel to Towers Runs will be taking place around the United States, including Hawaii and Alaska. For the first time ever, international supporters will be able participate in Runs located in London and Guam. Each host city participating in the nearly 70 Tunnel to Towers runs across the country will send a firefighter and military person to participate in the NYC Run.
As always, the Tunnel to Towers Run is made possible by the support of literally thousands of volunteers as well as generous sponsors including Duane Reade, Walgreens, CBS2 New York, Dunkin Donuts, the Gary Sinise Foundation, UPS, NASCAR, Lionel NASCAR Collectibles, The Home Depot, ESS, the New York Post, MGD 64, Southeast Friends of Stephen Siller, Fresh 102.7, WCBSFM 101.1, 92.3 NOW, WCBS News Radio 880, 1010 WINS, WFAN 66 AM, Media Networks Inc., Municipal Credit Union, 3 Roads, Hope for the Warriors, Semper Fi Fund, Boar’s Head, OnSite Energy, American Airlines, Kantara Communications, Time EMG, Fresh Connections, Patriot National Insurance Group, A Taste of Honey, ABCO Peerless Sprinkler, Candlewood International, LLC, Gregory Perillo, LC Audio, Nocotra’s Hilton Garden Inn, Northfield Bank, St. John’s Univeristy, and The Michael J. Petrides School.
For more information on race locations, registration or fundraising – please visit T2Trun.org.
About The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation
The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation is a charitable organization set up to follow in the footsteps of FDNY firefighter Stephen Siller, who ran through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel to the World Trade Center towers on Sept. 11, 2001, carrying 60 pounds of gear on his back, to rescue his fellow New Yorkers. Siller lost his life when the towers collapsed, leaving his wife, five children and six siblings to carry on his memory and share his story. One of the primary missions of The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation is to honor the military members who have been seriously injured and sacrificed their quality of life in the line of duty. The Foundation is currently in the process of building custom homes for several servicemen, who, as a result of suffering devastating injuries during military combat, are quadruple amputees. Additionally, the Foundation actively supports children who have lost one or both parents as well as assisting seriously injured firefighters. To find out more about the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation, please visit http://www.tunneltotowersrun.org.