LINDENHURST, N.Y. – On Saturday, July 16th, Lindenhurst’s Belfast Gastro Pub will host a Block Party Fundraiser for the Tunnel to Towers Foundation, which builds mortgage-free smart homes for injured veterans and first responders.
The Tunnel to Towers Block party is the latest in a series of charity-minded events hosted by Belfast Gastro Pub, 101 North Wellwood Avenue in Lindenhurst, and their leadership team in owner Dave Crowe and Operations Manager Bobby Fortier. Said Dave: “I'm so proud to be able to use my business as a vehicle to make a difference in so many people’s lives, especially the brave men and women first responders from September 11th. God Bless them. And God Bless America.”
Fundraising efforts leading up to the event, which Dave believes will be the restaurants biggest block party yet, have already amassed $3,000. The block party itself will run from 4pm to 8pm on Saturday, July 16th, and will include live music, food, drinks, and games for people of all ages- even a dunk tank!
Fundraising efforts on the day of the event will be staffed by the Lindenhurst Knights of Columbus, including a 50/50 raffle and offering other auction items, as well as the dunk tank and entrance ticket sales. Said Deputy Grand Knight Patrick Corcoran, “We are very excited to be the fundraising arm for the Tunnel to Towers event. Dave and Bobby are not only huge supporters of our efforts, but they are Brothers within our Council, which provides for a huge opportunity to expand our charitable efforts together.”
Presiding Officer of the Suffolk County Legislature Kevin J. McCaffrey, who represents Lindenhurst and the surrounding area in the Legislature, is proud to be part of a long line of first responders in his family and is excited at the opportunity to join Tunnel to Towers and his Brother Knights in helping the cause. “I proudly support the efforts of the Tunnel to Towers Foundation and their work to honor our greatest heroes in veterans and first responders, as well as their families, and have for many years. This block party is a tremendous example of our communities stepping up to help those who do so much to serve and protect us.” Presiding Officer McCaffrey and Belfast owner Dave Crowe kicked off the fundraising effort this year with matching donations of $1,000.
United States Congressman Andrew Garbarino added, “Tunnel to Towers is an incredible organization dedicated to caring for our heroes and their families. I am proud to support them and their mission in honor of Stephen Siller and the many 9/11 first responders who risked everything for their fellow Americans.”
The Tunnel to Towers Foundation is named after New York City Firefighter Stephen Gerard Siller, who made the ultimate sacrifice as a member of the FDNY’s Squad 1 on September 11th, 2001. Stephen was not assigned to work on September 11th, but upon hearing the news that a plane had struck the North Tower of the World Trade Center, knew he had to go to work and help. Stephen, who was on his way to play golf with his brothers, turned and headed for his firehouse. He grabbed his gear and set out for Manhattan, where he faced a closed Brooklyn Battery Tunnel. Determined to carry out his duty, he strapped 60 pounds of gear to his back, and raced on foot through the tunnel to the Twin Towers, where he gave up his life while saving others. He would leave behind a great wife, five wonderful children, a devoted extended family, and friends.
From that day, Stephen’s family has set out to care for other first responder and military families in need. To date, they have raised over $250 million dollars, which has been used to secure nearly 500 mortgage free homes. Many of these homes are “smart homes,” which include features such as automated doors and lighting, wider halls and doorways, special showers to accommodate wheelchairs, automatic door openers, cabinets, counters, and stove tops to help our most severely injured veterans and first responders to reclaim their day-to-day independence. They also facilitate funds to pay off the mortgages of fallen law enforcement officers, firefighters, and service members who lose their lives in the line of duty or to 9/11 related illness and leave behind young children. They also recently began to utilize a “9/11 Mobile Exhibit,” which is a high-tech, 83-foot tractor-trailer, which transforms into an 1,100 square foot exhibit, is a tool to further educate people across the country about the events of that tragic day.
If you are unable to join the festivities promoting the great work of the Tunnel to Towers Foundation on July 16th, Belfast Gastro Pub has created a pledge page to collect contributions which will go directly to the Foundation. The page can be found here: Donation Pledges — Belfast Gastropub.
The Suffolk County Legislature’s Presiding Officer, Legislator Kevin McCaffrey represents Suffolk County's 14th Legislative District, which encompasses the Villages of Lindenhurst and Babylon, the hamlets of West Babylon and North Lindenhurst, portions of Copiague, North Babylon, and Babylon's barrier beach communities.