West Columbia, S.C. –The fifth annual Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers South Carolina 5K Run & Walk is set for Friday, September 15 at 7:00 p.m. in Columbia’s Vista. Along a picturesque course spanning the Gervais Street and Blossom Street bridges at sunset, the race celebrates and appreciates first responders and military service members who serve, save and sacrifice on our behalf every day. Lexington Medical Center is the presenting sponsor.
The race is named in honor of Stephen Siller, a New York City firefighter and father of five who died on September 11, 2001. That day, Siller was off-duty and on his way to play golf. When he heard what was happening at the World Trade Center, he strapped on 60 pounds of gear and ran from the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel to the World Trade Center. He gave his life to save others. The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation is committed to ensuring that Americans never forget 9/11 and that our children understand the sacrifices made by many on that day.
The route for the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers South Carolina 5K Run & Walk begins near the First Responders Historic Remembrance Memorial next to the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center on Lincoln Street. Participants will travel down Gervais Street, across the Gervais Street Bridge, into Cayce, up the Blossom Street Bridge and back to Columbia’s Vista in the early evening.
The goal of Tunnel to Towers is to support first responders and military service members who have been catastrophically injured in the line of duty. Proceeds from the 5K will benefit the building of smart homes for quadruple and triple amputee veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan through the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation’s “Building for America’s Bravest” program. So far, the program has built 56 homes. Some of the proceeds will also benefit the 9/11 Memorial.
Register for South Carolina’s Tunnel to Towers 5K Walk and Run at www.t2trunsc.org. The entry fee is $30, with discounts for students, first responders and military service members. Importantly, businesses and organizations are encouraged to build a team of participants.
When participants register, they are also encouraged to start their own fundraising pages where they can accept donations online. The proceeds will go to the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation. The race will recognize fundraising milestones with prizes.
Additionally, firefighters can compete for the Stephen G. Siller Steel Award, a piece of steel from the Twin Towers. Each fire department with at least five firefighters running in turnout gear will be entered in the competition. The team with the fastest combined time will receive the award to display in their fire station until next year’s run.
In previous years, event participants included more than 800 Fort Jackson soldiers running in formation, South Carolina first responders, law enforcement officers, military service members from all branches of the Armed Forces, avid runners, families and teams from businesses and organizations. More than 2,000 people participated.
Participants this year will include several JROTC groups from around South Carolina.
There will be an opening ceremony at 6:30 p.m. and an after party with an awards ceremony, music, food, beverages, vendor booths and family friendly activities after the race.