Team 403 Reasons to Run, based in Byram Township, was established after 11 local residents participated in the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Run/Walk fundraiser in New York City in 2014.
Every year since then, the team has grown and raised money for T2T, an event that symbolizes Stephen Siller’s final footsteps from the foot of the former Brooklyn Battery Tunnel to the Twin Towers and pays homage to the FDNY firefighters, law enforcement officers, and thousands of civilians who lost their lives on September 11, 2001.
Fast forward to 2021: With four of its original team members, team 403 Reasons to Run participated in the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers event with more than 200 members walking/running the 5K and raising over $17,000 for the cause. Many of those team members are first responders, and two are 9/11 survivors.
On Nov. 29, 2021, The 403 Reasons to Run team became “403 Reasons to Run Foundation Inc.” (501.c3 pending) charitable foundation.
The foundation was co-founded by Jackie and Michael Pellek of Byram Township and is modeled after the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation, honoring those 403 fire, police, and EMS personnel who made the ultimate sacrifice in the towers on September 11, 2001.
The foundation supports local first responders and their families who may need assistance or who make the ultimate sacrifice in northwest New Jersey. The foundation will also provide assistance to victims of residential structure fires and others who experience a life-changing catastrophic event in the community.
While the foundation will continue to participate and support the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation annual event in New York City, members have been out visiting local fire departments, spreading the word as well as planning upcoming fundraisers.
Check out Sussex County’s newest foundation at 403reasonstorun.org. Find them on Instagram and Facebook at 403reasonstorunfoundation.