Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

World Trade Center stair climb will benefit wounded veterans

The first stair-climb race at One World Trade Center in New York — the nation's tallest building — will raise money for military veterans struggling with combat-linked disabilities, two foundations formed after the Sept. 11 attacks announced Monday.

Officials of the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation and the Captain Billy Burke Foundation detailed plans for the athletic event at Burke's firehouse, Engine Company 21 in midtown Manhattan. Burke lost his life on 9/11 along with firefighter Stephen Siller from Squad 1 in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

Proceeds from the May 17 tower climb will support service members who've been catastrophically injured in war and help educate children who've lost a parent. The money also will help build 200 new homes for veterans with the worst disabilities. About 40 houses have been completed.

On Sept. 11, 2001, Siller was off-duty when he ran with over 60 pounds of gear through the blocked-off Brooklyn Battery Tunnel to the World Trade Center. "Our foundation couldn't be more honored to be chosen to hold the first stair-climb event at One World Trade Center," said his brother Frank Siller, foundation chairman and CEO.

There's also a "virtual stair climb" — using elevators — for people who want to participate but can't handle the stairs.

Participation is limited to the first 1,000 people who register by May 10. They'll all wear computerized chips that will record their finish time. The entry fee is $100, and there's a $250 minimum fundraising requirement.

Sept. 11 first responders will lead the way into the building for the climb, which is to the 90th floor — 180 flights of stairs — of the 104-story building.

Burke led firefighters on the day two terrorist-hijacked planes pierced the twin towers.

His brother, Michael Burke, said Monday that even though Billy knew that the south tower had already fallen, he chose to remain behind to rescue two workers, one in a wheelchair.

When the captain was urged to leave, he responded, " 'This is my job, this is who I am.' Then he went on and the tower collapsed," said Burke, his voice breaking.

World Trade Center stair climb will benefit wounded veterans 03/23/15 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 24, 2015 12:22am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Florida beats LSU, wins first College World Series title

    College

    OMAHA, Neb. — Florida scored four runs in the eighth inning to pull away from LSU, and the Gators beat their SEC rival 6-1 Tuesday night to complete a two-game sweep in the College World Series finals for their first national title in baseball.

    UF’s Nelson Maldonado, left, and Deacon Liput high-five after a run scores.
  2. Fatal crash closes westbound lanes on Park Boulevard N in Pinellas Park

    Accidents

    Westbound lanes on Park Boulevard N are closed at 62nd Way N in Pinellas Park following a fatal crash late Tuesday night.

  3. St. Petersburg showdown: Kriseman and Baker pull no punches in first forum

    Local Government

    A standing-room-only crowd packed a Midtown church banquet hall Tuesday to witness the first face-off between Mayor Rick Kriseman and former mayor Rick Baker in what is a watershed mayoral contest in the city's history.

    Former Mayor Rick Baker, left, is challenging incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman, right, to become St. Petersburg mayor.
  4. Wildlife officers look for answers in gopher tortoise deaths while reward money piles up

    Wildlife

    The blood had already pooled when the bodies were found, bashed and beaten. One was dead. The other was still gasping, but it was too late.

    A gopher tortoise emerges from a bush to feed on vegetation on Thursday in 2016 at the Moccasin Lake Environmental Education Center in Clearwater. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission is investigating the deaths of two tortoises that were beaten and their shells broken in Manatee County. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Times]