On Saturday, Sept 16 Dr. Randall Williams, DHSS Director, Dr. Steve Corsi, Missouri Department of Social Services Director, and Mo, a therapy dog in training, joined others at the State Capitol Building to participate in the Jefferson City Tunnel to Towers 5K Run/Walk to support local first responders, remember and honor the 408 first responders that died on 9/11 and raise funds to support Building for America’s Bravest, which builds Smart Homes for catastrophically injured veterans. Dr. Williams spoke at the event, and attendees all saluted those who serve.
Building for America's Bravest is the premier program of the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation. Stephen Siller was a NYC Firefighter who ran through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel on September 11, 2001 to save lives at the Twin Towers. Siller did not make it out, and left behind a wife and five children. His story is the basis for the entire foundation.
Building for America's Bravest builds custom homes designed to address the unique needs of catastrophically injured veterans. In addition, the homes are energy efficient, automated and easily accessible, using adaptive technology to help these veterans live more independent lives. To date, there are 33 homes complete with 14 to complete this year. There are 56 on list to be completed and the goal of the program is to build over 200 homes.
Another part of the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation is the Legacy of Love programs, which are open to any first responder's family. Their main goals are to pay off mortgages of fallen first responders to ease the financial burden of familes after the loss of a loved one and to help local children in need who are orphans or lost a parent through education, counseling and other needs through the Legacy of Love and Wings of a Hero award.
The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation also hosts various Never Forget programs. These programs include: New York City 5K Run and Walk, 5K Run and Walk Series (Runs Across America), Brother for Brother and the 9/11 Never Forget Exhibit. The New York City 5K Run and Walk retraces the final footsteps of Stephen Siller and is in support of all first responders and military who make extraordinary sacrifices every day. The 5K Run and Walk Series are events to honor first responders and military and to ensure we Never Forget 9/11. Brother for Brother is in connection with the NYC Run and Walk, where fire departments from outside of NYC are encouraged to join and register as part of this team to raise funds to go to burn centers to support fellow firefighters. And the 9/11 Never Forget Exhibit is a 1,000 square foot traveling exhibit that is a tribute to all those who sacrificed on 9/11 and includes artifacts, news and video recordings, and live tours from FDNY heroes.