Archive

Archive for the ‘News’ Category

East Lansing Firefighter Running in NYC

September 9, 2015 Comments off

East Lansing firefighter running in NYC to honor 9/11 first-responders

 

EAST LANSINGWhen Nicole Kitson started working as a firefighter in 2007, she learned that each day on the job had the potential to end in sacrifice.

Later this month, she’ll run alongside fellow emergency responders to honor those who gave their lives on Sept. 11, 2001.

Kitson is one of two Michigan runners selected by the Michigan Remembers 9-11 Fund to take part in the Tunnel to Tower 5K Run and Walk. The race will be held in New York City on Sept. 27.

Working as an emergency responder wasn’t what Kitson originally envisioned for herself, she said.

After graduating from Davenport University with a business degree, she worked for a year before realize she wasn’t content.

“I wanted to be more involved in the community and do more than sit at a desk all day,” she said.

Kitson took a job with the DeWitt Township Fire Department in 2007, where she completed her fire training and EMS certification. She now works as a firefighter and paramedic with the East Lansing Fire Department. She also works part-time as an instructor at Lansing Community College’s Regional Fire Training Center.

It was during the 2014 Run to Remember in Lansing’s Old Town where she first heard about the New York event. Kitson decided to apply and was grateful to hear she’d been selected this year, she said.

“It’s a great honor, I’m really excited to be chosen to represent our entire state,” she said. The Michigan Remembers 9-11 Fund is covering her race entry fee as well as the round trip flight, she said. Kitson and her fellow Michigan racer, Brian Behrend, an Oakland County Sheriff’s Department deputy, were selected because of their daily work serving the community, according to a press release from the fund.

Kitson runs several 5K events throughout the year, both to raise money for worthy causes and for her general interest in fitness, she said.

The New York Tunnel to Tower event is held annually in honor of Stephen Siller, a Brooklyn firefighter who lost his life in the aftermath of the 9/11 attack.

Siller was traveling home after a late shift on Sept. 11, 2001, when the call about the first plane hitting the Twin Towers came over the radio. He headed back, only to find the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel closed.

Strapping on 60 pounds of gear, he ran more than three miles to the World Trade Center. He gave his life that day providing assistance to victims of the attack, according to the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation’s website. The foundation hosts several races across the county in his honor as well as in appreciation for military service members.

Kitson is also running in the Michigan fund’s Run to Remember, which kicks off at 8:45 a.m. Sept. 12 in Old Town. Registration for the event ends Friday at 6 p.m. More information, including how to sign-up, can be found on the Michigan Remembers 9-11 Fund website.

Contact RJ Wolcott at (517) 377-1026 or rwolcott@lsj.com. Follow him on Twitter @wolcottr.

More information

To learn more about the Michigan Remembers 9-11 Fund or to register for this weekend’s race, visit their website at www.michiganremembers.dreamhosters.com.

Williamston Students Honored for 9-11 Remembrance Essays

December 19, 2014 Comments off

The Michigan Remembers 9-11 Fund has honored three winners of its 2014 scholarship essay contest for Michigan high school juniors and seniors.

The contest was established to encourage high school students to research and express their reflections on how the impacts of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks affected them, their family members or friends, their communities, or the nation as a whole.

Julia Muir, a senior from Williamston High School, won the first place scholarship of $500 for her essay “Remembering America’s Heroes.”

Her essay focused on the courage demonstrated by those heroes who made a difference during the tragic events of 9/11/01. She plans to attend Grand Valley State University in the fall to pursue a bachelor of science in nursing.

Emily Coscarelli, also a senior from Williamston High School, was awarded the second place scholarship for her essay “A Day in Their Shoes.”

She plans to attend Michigan State University in the fall, but is currently undecided on a course of study.

Nicholas Mangopoulos of Okemos won the honorable mention award for his essay “We Were Invincible.” He is enrolled in the Early College Program at Lansing Community College and plans to start attending full time in the spring to study computer engineering.

“We were happy to be able to honor the scholarship winners for their strong writing skills and their ability to convey a deep understanding of the 9-11 tragedies despite their young ages at the time the attacks occurred,” said Megan Henriksen, Executive Director of the Michigan Remembers 9-11 Fund.

The Michigan Remembers 9-11 Fund is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, founded in 2006 by World Trade Center attack survivor Patrick Anderson.

The Fund memorializes those with ties to Michigan whose lives were lost on September 11, 2001, and honors those who risk their lives on a daily basis to protect their communities.

Donations from the public can be sent to Michigan Remembers 9-11 Fund, 1555 Watertower Place, Suite 100, East Lansing, MI 48823.

 

The full story from the Lansing State Journal can be found here:  Williamston Students Honored for 9-11 Remembrance Essays

 

 

 

 

 

Local Firefighters to Run in NYC 5K

September 25, 2014 Comments off

DSC_0913.JPGTwo local firefighters will re-trace the route a New York City firefighter took on 9/11 as he ran from a traffic-clogged tunnel to the World Trade Center.

Tim Grant of the Williamston Fire Department and Tiffany Dickerson of the Lansing Fire Department were nominated to take part in Sunday’s Tunnel to Towers 5K in New York City. More than 25,000 people are expected to participate.

The event honors the memory of firefighter Stephen Siller, who was on his way home the morning of Sept. 11, 2001 when word came of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.

With his vehicle stuck in traffic, Siller ran the three miles from the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel to the World Trade Center with 60 pounds of equipment strapped to his back. Siller was one of nearly 400 emergency services personnel to die that day.

“To be making the same run he ran that morning, it gives you chills,” Grant said. “At the end of this race, I get to go home. He didn’t get to go home, and I’ll be thinking about that.”

Many firefighters will run in their “turnout gear,” Grant said.

Dickerson, a seven-year veteran of the department, said being surrounded by people who were directly affected that day will have an impact on her.

“I think it will make me realize how special it is to go home every day,” she said. “You don’t take that for granted.”

The New York event is one of nine across the country, in Florida, Georgia, Ohio, North Carolina and South Carolina.

Proceeds support numerous initiatives, including making homes wheelchair-accessible for injured first responders and service members.

Grant and Dickerson were chosen by the Michigan Remembers Foundation, which for the last four years has sponsored the “Run to Remember” each Sept. 11 in Lansing.

Grant said he was honored to get the call offering him a spot.

“They say when you come out of the tunnel, the first thing you lay your eyes on is the Freedom Tower, and I’m really looking forward to seeing that,” he said. “It’s a remembrance thing, but it’s also a big celebration.”

Staff writer Kevin Grasha contributed to this report.

To help, look for the Donate link at www.tunnel2towers.org. To donate to the local Michigan Remembers Foundation, go to https://runsignup.com/runtoremember

 

The full story from the Lansing State Journal can be found here:  Local Firefighters to Run in NYC 5k

 

 

 

State Representative Tom Cochran Discusses Michigan Remembers 9-11 Fund

August 4, 2014 Comments off

State Representative (and former Lansing Fire Chief) Tom Cochran discusses his work with the Michigan Remembers 9-11 Fund in an editorial for OkemosToday.com.

Read the full editorial here.

 

2014 First Responder Nomination Process for Trip to NYC Now Open

July 22, 2014 Comments off

The Michigan Remembers 9-11 Fund will be hosting its Run to Remember 5K run/walk on September 6th to remember those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001, including 19 with Michigan connections, and to honor and celebrate the brave men and women across Michigan who protect and serve our communities and nation on a daily basis. Funds raised by this race support our programming, which includes sending two first responders to represent Michigan at the Stephen Siller National Tunnel to Towers Run in New York City.

If you are interested in the opportunity to be selected as a representative from Michigan, please complete the nomination form by August 11, 2014. You must be an active first responder (police, fire, or ems) in the state of Michigan or currently enlisted in the U.S. Military/Michigan National Guard/Reserves to be eligible. You must also be available for travel the dates of September 27, 2014 to September 29, 2014.

The Michigan Remembers 9-11 Fund board members, executive director, and other members of the nomination committee will carefully evaluate all submissions. They will select the two nominees who are felt to best embody the spirit of selflessness, community service, and honor as those who answered the call on 9/11/01. Only those who are selected as finalists will be contacted.

The two selected nominees will be honored during our Run to Remember event with an all-expense paid weekend to NYC to compete in the national race to be held in late September. The trip includes airfare, hotel, race registration, and other selected travel arrangements.

Questions about the Fund or this application can be directed to Megan Henriksen at michiganremembers@gmail.com or (517) 333-6984.

Please click this link to complete the nomination form: 2014 nomination form.

LSJ Nonprofit Spotlight: Michigan Remembers 9-11 Fund

June 8, 2014 Comments off

The Fund was recognized in Lansing State Journal’s nonprofit spotlight for June 8, 2014. Please see the link below for the full article.

LSJ Nonprofit Spotlight: Michigan Remembers 9-11 Fund

 

Michigan Remembers 9-11 Fund Announces Winners of 2013 Scholarship Essay Contest

November 19, 2013 Comments off

Michigan Remembers 9-11 Fund Announces Winners of Annual Scholarship Essay Contest

Three area high school students recognized for their reflections on 9-11.

 

EAST LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Remembers 9-11 Fund is pleased to announce the winners of its 2013 scholarship essay contest for Michigan high school juniors and seniors. This contest encourages high school students to research and express how the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks affected them, their family members or friends, their communities, or the nation as a whole.

Cameron Stewart, a senior from Williamston High School, has won the first place scholarship of $500 for his essay “Through the Eyes of a Child.” His essay discussed the attacks from the view point of a 5-year old and how the aftermath affected him personally. Cameron will be attending Michigan State University in the fall to begin his pre-med studies.

Paige Kelley, a junior from Williamston High School, was awarded the second place scholarship for her essay “An Attack Here and a War There.” She has a strong interest in the medical field and plans to attend college after she graduates in 2015.

Nathalie Yanes won the honorable mention award for her essay “Michigan Will Remember.” She is a senior at Wayland High School and plans to study biology and mathematics at Calvin College in the fall. Nathalie also would like to attend medical school after college.

“We are happy to be able to encourage strong writing skills, while keeping the memory of this tragedy current to today’s younger generation,” said Megan Henriksen, Executive Director of the Michigan Remembers 9-11 Fund. Despite their young ages at the time the attacks occurred, Stewart, Kelley, and Yanes each conveyed deep and emotional understandings of the 9-11 attacks.

The Michigan Remembers 9-11 Fund offers the annual essay contest to Michigan high school juniors and seniors. The contest for 2014 is planned for the fall of next year, with details to be available on the Michigan Remembers 9-11 website. Questions about the contest can be directed to Megan Henriksen at michiganremembers@gmail.com or (517) 333-6984.

 

 

 

Run to Remember 5k to Send Lansing First Responders to National Run in New York City

September 4, 2013 Comments off

  Michigan Remembers 9-11 Event in Lansing Honors First Responders

5k walk/run raising funds to send two Michigan first responders
to NYC for National 5k Event

 

 

EAST LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Remembers 9-11 Fund is hosting its third annual Run to Remember 5k run/walk on September 7th in Lansing’s Old Town. The event will include a brief remembrance ceremony with a moment of silence at 8:46 a.m. to mark the time that the first plane struck the Twin Towers. The 5k run/walk will start at 9:11 a.m.

Proceeds from the event will be used to support the Fund’s programming, which includes recognizing first responders for their dedication to our country and community. This year the Fund will send Lansing Fire Fighter Jason Stevens and Ingham County Sheriff’s Deputy Michael Grant and to New York City to represent Michigan in the National Tunnel to Towers 5k on September 29. Grant, of Lansing, is an Army veteran of the Vietnam War. Stevens, also of Lansing, served in the Army as a flight medic for 8 years. Both men were nominated by State Representative (and former Lansing Fire Chief) Tom Cochran based on their daily service to the people of Michigan, and their military service to our country. Cochran, along with other dignitaries, will be at the Lansing 5k to recognize firefighter Stevens and Deputy Grant.

“We are looking forward to sending Michael and Jason to New York to represent our great State” said Scott Watkins, co-founder of the Michigan Remembers 9-11 Fund. “We encourage everyone to join us in Lansing’s Old Town on Saturday to send Michael and Jason off with everyone’s support.”

The public is invited to attend the ceremony and the 5k run/walk. Registration is available at www.runsignup.com/runtoremember.

 

 

MichiganRemembers.org Brings Attention to Michigan 9/11 Connections

September 8, 2011 Comments off

MichiganRemembers.org was set up to remember those from Michigan, and those with strong ties to Michigan, that lost their lives during the attacks on 9-11. Even though the state is miles away from where any of the attacks happened, many Michiganders were directly touched by the events of the day. As the tenth anniversary of 9-11 approaches, the site hopes to hear from as many people as possible.

I had the opportunity to speak with Scott Watkins, a co-founder of Michigan Remembers 9-11, and a trustee of the fund. In 2001, he was working directly with Patrick Anderson, the CEO of Anderson Economic Group, and economist Ikhan Geckil. Both of these men were staying in the Marriott inside of the World Trade Center. Both survived the attacks. Scott knew that others in Michigan had ties as well and worked to start the fund and website…

Read More – on Yahoo! News

September 11th 5k to Send Local First Responders to National Run in New York City

September 6, 2011 Comments off

By swatkins @ 5:57 PM

EAST LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Remembers 9-11 Fund and Jam for Vets charities are hosting a 5k walk/run on September 11, 2011 on Detroit’s Belle Isle. Proceeds will support sending two Michigan first responders and veterans to New York City as our state’s representatives in the national Tunnel to Towers 5k on September 25th. The national run is a symbolic event to remember the victims that perished on September 11, 2001, and to honor the 343 firefighters, police officers, and port authority officers, and other first responders who gave their lives trying to save as many people as possible.

Representing Michigan in New York City will be Oakland County Sheriff Deputies Brian Salenik and Shawn Wilson. Deputy Salenik, of South Lyon, is a detective with the Oakland County Fire Investigations Unit. He served at the National Security Agency after the 9/11 attacks. He is retired from the Army National Guard, having served in Desert Storm. Sheriff Deputy Wilson is a Corporal in the United States Marine Corps, and currently serves as a reservist. Currently living in Ferndale, he has completed two tours in Iraq. He traveled to New York City to help with the rescue efforts at ground zero in 2001.

Salenik and Wilson will also participate in the Detroit Tunnel to Towers event on Belle Isle on September 11. They will be recognized in a ceremony prior to the race. The ceremony will also include a moment of silence at 8:46am to mark the time that the first plane struck with towers, and a reading of the names of the 18 victims from Michigan who died in the September 11, 2001 attacks.

The Detroit walk/run will begin at 9am, with registration and race number pickup beginning at 7am.

For more information, or to arrange an interview with Mr. Salenik or Mr. Wilson, please contact Susan Moriarty at the Michigan Remembers 9-11 Fund.

About the Race Organizers
The Stephen Siller Foundation was established to honor the memory of New York firefighter Stephen Siller, who was a father of five. After completing a night shift he was on his way to play golf when the first plane hit the WTC. He returned to Squad 1 to get his gear, and then took his final heroic steps. With sixty pounds of gear strapped to his back, he ran approximately 3 miles through the Battery Tunnel to the WTC.

The Michigan Remembers 9-11 Fund was founded in 2006 by World Towers attack survivor Patrick Anderson and his friend Scott Watkins. The Fund memorializes those with ties to Michigan whose lives were lost on September 11, 2001, and those who risked their lives to aid those affected by the tragedy. Jam for Vets is a non-profit that raises funds through musical events and donated musical services to support charitable organizations that aid U.S. military members who have been injured in the service of their country.

# # #