Continuing a special tradition

Second annual Tunnel to Towers 5K event grows

A special event that began a year ago to raise money for a great cause and bring people together for one special weekend out of the year, celebrated its second anniversary.

The second annual Tunnel to Towers 5K Walk/Run took place on a near perfect Saturday morning as the event welcomed many in the community, surrounding areas and around the state to participate in what has turned out to be one of the most important dates of the year.

“We were all down here to raise money and honor fallen firefighters and law enforcement from September 11, along with our veterans and military that have sacrificed so much,” Event director Sharon Cole said.

Similar to the event that was held last year at the Bay View Park Band Shell in Alpena, a large number of participants gathered near at that same location sporting their red, white and blue while firefighters and law enforcement ran in full gear to help raise money for a special cause.

The funds from the event go towards building homes for injured veterans, which are smart homes.

“The first smart home built in Michigan is right here in Alpena. These smart homes enable injured veterans to live a life that they couldn’t live before the injuries,” Cole said. “After receiving a letter and talking to several people, I was able to get this event started, but it would not have been possible without all of the help and support that I received from this wonderful community.”

After having over 500 people at last years event, the second annual Tunnel to Towers was even larger in numbers, along with the extracurricular activities that went along with the event to not only help raise money, but allow the community and its visitors to have an enjoyable time while they were there..

“We had more going on this year and we’re hoping to have even more go on next year as well. Our plan is just to continue this event from year to year and I think we definitely helped it grow from last year to this year. We’re hopeful that this even will continue to grow,” Cole said. “There are so many people that I’d like to thank and it really does take an entire city to put on an event like this. There’s so many walks of lives here and people with different stories. Add that up with everything the event goes towards and it’s just really a special event that we all should be proud of.”