Siller Foundation surpasses goal of $800,000 to pay off mortgages on homes of slain Police Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos

Andrew V. Simontacchi, Staten Island Advance

The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation announced Wednesday it has surpassed its goal of raising $800,000 to pay off the mortgages on the family homes of slain New York City Police Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos.

Pei Xia (Sanny) Chen, widow of slain NYPD officer Wenjian Liu, and Frank Siller of the Stephen Siller Tunnels to Towers Foundation

Pei Xia (Sanny) Chen, widow of slain NYPD officer Wenjian Liu, and Frank Siller of the Stephen Siller Tunnels to Towers Foundation

“We are so happy to say we have surpassed our goal and raised $860,000,” said Frank Siller, chairman of Tunnel to Towers, at a press conference in the ballroom of the Conrad Hotel in Manhattan.

Siller was joined by Pei Xia Chen and Maritza Ramos, the widows of officers Liu and Ramos, respectively, as well as a host of NYPD and union officials.

The foundation raised the money less than two weeks after announcing its intentions.

Liu, 32, and Ramos, 40, were shot to death, “execution-style,” by Ismaaiyl Brinsley, 28, while the two were working overtime as part of an anti-terrorism drill in Bedford-Stuyvesant in December. Brinsley, 28, who had a history of mental illness, had shot his girlfriend in Baltimore earlier that day before traveling to New York to carry out the police assassinations. He killed himself after the slayings.

The Tunnel to Tower Foundation was formed in memory of Stephen Siller, a West Brighton native and father of five, who raced to the World Trade Center through the Battery Tunnel on September 11 and died while participating in the rescue effort.

The mortgage buyout is the foundation’s latest home-related charity effort.

By the second anniversary of Hurricane Sandy this October, the organization had rebuilt 150 homes for families.

The foundation also provides financial support to help build specialized, adapted homes for injured U.S. military veterans.

Both Liu and Ramos had ties to Staten Island.

Ramos worked as a school safety officer at Rocco Laurie Intermediate School in New Springville before joining the NYPD, and his son graduated from Staten Island Academy.

Liu was a part-time student at the College of Staten Island from 2001-2004.

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