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5K raises thousands for first responders

ALPENA, Mich. — Over 300 people ran in this year’s Tunnel to Towers 5K run.

This year marked the return of the run to Alpena, after a COVID hiatus in 2020.

The Alpena branch of Tunnel to Towers marked their return– as well as the 20th anniversary of 9/11 – with a gift to the City Fire Department.

During the opening ceremonies, they presented Alpena Fire Chief Bill Forbush with a sculpture made of steel from the Twin Yowers. Chief Forbush told WBKB he feels honored to receive the gift.

“The Alpena Fire Department was founded in 1871, so it’s our 150th anniversary. And to tie that occasion in with the somber occasion of 9/11 and the tremendous support we see here in the Tunnel to Towers walk — we were just humbled.”

The 5K event commemorates New York firefighter Stephen Siller, who ran through an obstructed tunnel to the Twin Towers. It also raises money to build smart homes and pay off mortgages for injured veterans and emergency workers.

Dave Hornick, co–director for the Alpena Branch, said the organization’s helped hundreds of heroes.

“The last record I heard is over 200 [homes]. They’re actually shooting for another 200 by the end of the year between building the homes and paying the mortgages off.”

A few of those homes are even in Alpena. Hornick said if you want to help, you can make a direct donation on the official Tunnel to Towers website.

Saturday’s run raised more than $10,000.