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Thousands To Run In Ft. Lauderdale "Tunnel To Towers" Event

FT. LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) - Thousands of South Florida runners will lace up their running shoes in September to benefit military personnel who were catastrophically injured in Iraq and Afghanistan in the annual Tunnel to Towers 5K run in Ft. Lauderdale.

The run is patterned on an event in New York that has grown to include 20 thousand runners.

The Tunnel To Towers 5K Run & Walk honors and celebrates first responders (fire, police, EMT's, paramedics) and military service personnel who serve, sacrifice and protect us every day. Proceeds benefit the most catastrophically injured personnel including quadruple and triple amputees who have made extraordinary sacrifices to defend our freedom.

The competition is inspired by the late FDNY Firefighter Stephen Siller who was off duty when he learned of the first plane hitting the Twin Towers on 9/11. He went to his station, gathered his gear and tried to drive to the scene but found the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel was closed.  Undeterred, he donned his bunker gear and ran through the tunnel to reach Squad 1 at the Twin Towers.  He was one of the 343 FDNY firefighters who lost their lives that day.

Ft. Lauderdale is one of ten cities holding a Tunnel to Towers event during the month of September.

Fort Lauderdale's Tunnel To Towers 5K Run and Walk will take place at 7:30 a.m. on September 7th at Huizenga Park.

CBS4 is a proud sponsor and anchor Rhiannon Ally will be the emcee at the event.

The proceeds raised by the run, through registration fees and donations, are given to a foundation in Siller's name.

Through the Building For America's Bravest program, "Smart Homes" are built for military personnel injured in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Smart Homes are custom designed to address the unique needs of each individual. Using "adaptive technology" these homes help these severely injured heroes' live better and more independent lives.

CBS4 Meteorologist Jeff Berardelli helped organize the South Florida event, after working with the original run while living in New York.

For more information on the Tunnel To Towers 5K Run & Walk, please visit

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