One Thousand Climbers Ascend the 2,200 Steps of One World Trade Center to Raise $1 Million for Tunnel to Towers Foundation

(AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

Ten flights of stairs would leave many people breathless, but at least 1,000 brave souls climbed the 104 floors of One World Trade Center Sunday to raise money for first responders in need. The event was organized by the Tunnel to Towers Foundation, which was founded after the airplane attack by Islamic terrorists on the World Trade Center on 9/11 2001 that took over 3,000 lives and led to the iconic Big Apple’s buildings collapsing.


Mixed martial arts star Conor McGregor, who earlier this month pledged to donate $1 million to the foundation, applauded their efforts:

Tunnel to Towers describes its organization on its website:

Since 9/11, we have been helping America’s heroes by providing mortgage-free homes to Gold Star and fallen first responder families with young children and by building specially-adapted smart homes for catastrophically injured veterans and first responders. We are also committed to eradicating veteran homelessness and helping America to Never Forget September 11, 2001.

Frank Siller, T2T chairman and CEO, reflected on the first responders who saved so many over 20 years ago:

You think of the stories from that day, of firefighters in those stairwells saving people.

They’re going up the stairs and everyone else is going down and outside the building. It was the greatest rescue effort ever in America. Saved over 25,000 lives, but we lost so many great heroes that day and we’re here to honor those heroes and never forget.


Siller’s brother Stephen was lost on that morning as he rescued others. He was on his way home when the attack occurred, Frank remembers, but he turned around, grabbed 60 pounds of equipment and went to help.

The tower climb first began in 2015 and has occurred every year since. Frank:

We wanted to honor what our little brother did that day, the act of heroism. So we started the Tunnel to Towers Foundation and we’ve built houses all over America for our catastrophically injured service members and first responders, and pay off mortgages for Gold Star widows and fallen first responders who’ve fallen in the line of duty that left kids behind.

We have very simple goals. Honor the sacrifice that Stephen did and never forget. And why not do good at the same time?

To honor Memorial Day, T2T provided 30 homes for the families of U.S. military servicemembers and first responders killed in action:

Tunnel to Towers provided 21 Gold Star families and nine fallen first responders families with prior military service, with a mortgage-free home, or paid-off the mortgage on their existing home.

“To all of the families who know the true meaning of Memorial Day, I thank you for your service and sacrifice. We know that no service member serves alone. It is our honor to support these families who have sacrificed so much so we can all enjoy the freedoms America has to offer,” said Frank Siller Chairman and CEO of the Tunnel to Towers Foundation. 

The 30 families are located in 17 states stretching to every corner of this country:


Siller describes the effort and the families he’s helping:

With all the bad news out there, it’s nice to report some good news for a change. Kudos to Frank Siller and the Tunnel to Towers Foundation.


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