More than 30K Take Part in 16th Annual Tunnel to Towers 5K Run

SILive - September 25, 2017

by Tracey Porpora

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- If Stephen Siller -- a New York City firefighter (FDNY) who lost his life on Sept. 11, 2001 -- knew thousands of people would be retracing his heroic steps 16 years later, he's surely be wearing a big grin.

More than 30,000 took part in the annual Tunnel to Towers 5K Run & Walk Series, that was created by Siller's siblings to retrace the final steps of the Staten Islander who strapped on his gear and ran through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel to the Twin Towers trying to save people on that tragic day in 2001.

"I was a little concerned because last year was the 15th anniversary, and I thought maybe we would have a drop-off, but no. We had thousands more join us for the run this year. And we know this will continue," said Frank Siller, one of Stephen's brothers, and the chairman and CEO of the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation.

The run and walk event pays homage to all first responders who made, and continue to make, extraordinary sacrifices in the line of duty.

"There were runners from 20 different countries this year," said Siller. "It was the biggest event that we've had by far. It was spectacular."

Siller says his family looks forward to the event each year.

"How could we not look forward to bringing thousands of people together to do such a good positive thing to make sure we never forget," he said. "This run is in honor of so many who made sacrifices on 9/11 and the ones who have given their lives ever since."

THE FOUNDATION

The Tunnel to Towers Foundation has raised more that $50 million from the 5K run.

And the family-run charity has raised even more money over the years for such efforts as building "smart houses" for severely wounded veterans, and helping thousands rebuild their homes that were destroyed by Hurricane Sandy.

Most recently, the foundation has been collecting goods and helping out victims of the recent hurricanes.