CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — “They just have done, they continue to do so much for us, it is a huge relief, so many things that they help out with, are a part of my kids’ lives and that is really amazing,” said Tiffany Herderhorst.
Tunnel To Towers is helping our nation’s families, first responders and veterans by paying off their families’ mortgages.
Two heroes from Illinois are being honored as we approach 9/11.
Illinois Police Senior Master Trooper Todd Hanneken was in his patrol car on March 25 of last year when he was involved in an accident that ultimately took his life.
Champaign Firefighter Trevor Herderhorst lost his battle with esophageal cancer.
He spent four years with the department.
Larry Olsen with Tunnel To Towers says he’s happy his foundation can provide help.
“We look to support those families who have lost a first responder or is a part of the gold star family with young children,” Olsen said.
Hanneken leaves behind his wife, Shelley and their two sons.
Herderhorst is survived by his wife, Tiffany, their son and their daughter.
For Tiffany, this form of support is extra special this year.
“September 12th is actually Trevor and I’s wedding anniversary, so that kind of all falls together there with 9/11,” Tiffany said.
The money also helps ensure families are financially stable.
“The largest financial burden that most of these families have is a mortgage, so to be able to pay off the mortgage very often allow the family to stay in the house,” Olsen said.
For Tiffany, the money helps in more ways than one.
“Money that I was putting towards the mortgage is now going to go towards their college fund every month,” Tiffany said.
This year, Tunnel To Towers helped 21 families. Tiffany says this money has been a blessing for her family.
The Champaign Fire Department will hold its annual 9/11 Memorial Ceremony on Sunday. It takes place at the northeast corner of West Side Park near West University Avenue. It starts at 8:45 a.m.