World Trade Center stair climb will benefit wounded veterans

Verena Dobnik  Associated Press

The first stair-climb benefit will be held at One World Trade Center in May to raise money for military veterans, two foundations formed after the 9/11 attacks announced Monday.

This Oct. 18, 2014, file photo shows One World Trade Center in the background, as people gather for a groundbreaking  at the site of the St. Nicholas National Shrine, in New York.Craig Ruttle, AP file

This Oct. 18, 2014, file photo shows One World Trade Center in the background, as people gather for a groundbreaking  at the site of the St. Nicholas National Shrine, in New York.Craig Ruttle, AP file

The announcement by the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation and the Captain Billy Burke Foundation was made 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 tower climb on May 17 will support service members who’ve been catastrophically injured in war and help educate children who’ve lost a parent in war.

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.

Even though he knew that the south tower had already fallen, Burke chose to remain behind to rescue two workers, one in a wheelchair.

“Billy would be humbled and grateful to know that in his memory funds are going to be raised to assist military heroes” and their children, said his brother Michael Burke, a foundation board member.

Climbers will go to the 90th floor – 180 flights of stairs.

There’s also a “virtual stair climb” – using elevators – for people who want to participate but are not able to handle the stairs.

Participation is limited to the first 1,000 people to register. Registration will close on Sunday, May 10, or when capacity is reached.

The entry fee for all climbers, including virtual climbers, is $100. There’s also a $250 minimum fundraising requirement.

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