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New Tunnel to Towers 5K Run coming to Bluffton

Published: Oct. 22, 2021 at 11:50 AM EDT
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BLUFFTON, S.C. (WTOC) - The Tunnel to Towers Foundation has a close relationship with the Coastal Empire - first with a race in our area and then by providing three homes in recent years for Gold Star families and the families of first responders killed in the line of duty.

The New York based organization is now moving into the Lowcountry with a new Tunnel to Towers run in Bluffton that will continue to honor the memory of September 11th heroes and also raise money for those who serve their community and their country.

Two months after it was completed, Frank Siller’s Never Forget Walk from the Pentagon to New York City to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Sept. 11th will add an additional unplanned stop in South Carolina.

“I saw Frank doing the 500-mile event and I wanted to be part of the Tunnel to Towers organization obviously since it’s the 20th anniversary. So, I reached out to the organization and said, ‘hey how can I do this event here in Bluffton?’,” said Candice Taylor, Tunnel to Towers Bluffton Volunteer Director.

Taylor was awarded the latest Tunnel to Towers Run - a 5K that will be held within Bluffton’s Cypress Ridge Community on Sunday, Nov. 14, 2021, and support the national foundation that builds custom smart homes to catastrophically wounded veterans, provides free homes for Gold Star families, and pays off the mortgages for families of first responders killed in the line of duty - as they did in Savannah for the family of Savannah Police Sergeant Kelvin Ansari two years ago.

“Our commitment is obviously to never forget the tragedy of Sept. 11th. And our mission is to do good. So, we’re hoping a lot of the local military and police officers in our community will come out and help raise money for our local heroes,” Taylor said.

A Tunnel to Towers run became Savannah’s way to acknowledge the memory of 9/11 beginning in 2012 - and still was until that race was canceled three times in four years by hurricanes and the pandemic.

Now, Bluffton will honor the heroism of first responders like Stephen Siller, who ran through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel to the World Trade Center on Sept. 11 and was among 343 New York City firefighters killed when the Twin Towers collapsed. It’s a story that Taylor thinks speaks to everyone.

“I think there’s a lot of people who moved from all over the country to Bluffton, and 9/11 impacted every single person in some way. So, it’s remembering that moment and not to forget any of those heroes that were lost that day,’ said Taylor.

And even with only six weeks to plan the new run, Bluffton is already looking forward to it.

“Some people, teaching a little about what Tunnel to Towers is and once they know, they’re like, ‘oh my gosh, I want to be a part of it, how can I do it?’”

The event will be Nov. 14 at 8 a.m. The start and finish will be at the Cypress Ridge Amenity Center (140 Colvin Drive, Bluffton, SC 29909). It will be a 5K Run & Walk and it will be through the community, down Holsten Landing and back up to the community center.

“We were thinking of a weekend of when to do it and why not do it Veteran’s Day weekend, a weekend that has a purpose and a meaning,” Taylor said.

To find out more or to register online, click here.

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