Davidson County Community College Hosts Tunnel to Towers 5K

For the first time in the 16 years following the September 11, 2001 attacks, DCCC will partner with first responders to host a Tunnel to Towers Foundation 5K Run and Walk. The event will take place September 9 at 9 a.m. on the Davidson campus. Proceeds go to support the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation. The foundation honors the sacrifice of firefighter Stephen Siller, who lost his life saving others during the tower attacks.

On September 11, 2001, Siller, assigned to Brooklyn's Squad 1, had just finished his shift when he got word over his scanner of a plane hitting the North Tower of the World Trade Center. Upon hearing the news, he called his wife, Sally, to change plans and returned to Squad 1. The firefighter drove his truck to the entrance of the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, but it was already closed for security purposes, so he strapped 60 pounds of gear to his back and ran through the tunnel to the Twin Towers, where he ultimately sacrificed his life to save others.

Over fifty Tunnel to Towers runs take place across the nation annually to benefit the foundation that honors Siller's bravery along with military and first responders who continue to make the supreme sacrifice of life and limb for our country. The foundation's efforts include building smart homes for veterans who have lost limbs and providing over $3.2 million to assist families of fallen first responders across the nation. The foundation also provides significant financial support in the form of trust accounts and mortgage payoffs to those left behind by first responders who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

John Freudenberg, the new EMS program director at DCCC and one of the event organizers, served as a paramedic responders in New York during the 9/11 attacks and was looking for a way to spend his first anniversary away from his crew. "It's a good foundation; they do a lot of good for a lot of people. This college has a strong history of training first responders so the event is a perfect fit," said Freudenberg.

The 5K Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation Run at DCCC includes two loops around the Davidson campus. You can register to run, walk or volunteer for the event at T2TRUN.ORG. Registration is $25. If registering before Sept 1, use PROMO code BACK TO SCHOOL and receive a $5 discount.

For Freudenberg, this is an opportunity to teach young people about the bravery of first responders on 9/11. "Some of the young people who attend weren't even born yet," said Freudenberg. "Run, walk, bring the kids, bring the stroller. It's going to be a first responder- themed family day."