John and Kathleen Briano are our August 2019 Referral Charity Program Winner!
John and Kathleen Briano chose Tunnel to Towers (T2T) to be the recipient of the August 2019 referral charity donation. John’s friend inspired him to get involved with T2T back when he was in New York, John had volunteered with them many times.
John and Kathleen met in high school; they each attended a different branch of the same school. After school, the couple proceeded to live in New York for 42 years where John served as an NYPD detective. They have had two daughters one of which, Emily, works in Tampa the other, Julia, is currently attending Indiana University. After retiring from the NYPD, John and Kathleen moved to Delray where over the past 9 years John has worked as a dean for American Heritage High School. John spends his spare time playing golf, taking care of his home and spending time with his daughters.
Tunnel to Towers
The Siller Family started the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation to honor the memory of their brother, Stephen, a New York City firefighter (FDNY) who lost his life on September 11, 2001.
On September 11, 2001, Stephen, who was assigned to Brooklyn’s Squad 1, had just finished his shift and was on his way to play golf with his brothers when he got word over his scanner of a plane hitting the North Tower of the World Trade Center. Upon hearing the news, Stephen called his wife Sally and asked her to tell his brothers he would catch up with them later. He returned to Squad 1 to get his gear.
Stephen drove his truck to the entrance of the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, but it had already been closed for security purposes. Determined to carry out his duty, he strapped 60 lbs. 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.
Stephen had everything to live for; a great wife, five wonderful children, a devoted extended family, and friends. Stephen’s parents were lay Franciscans and he grew up under the guiding philosophy of St. Francis of Assisi, whose encouraging and inspirational phrase “while we have time, let us do good” were words that Stephen lived by. Stephen’s life and heroic death serve as a reminder to us all to live life to the fullest and to spend our time here on earth doing good – this is his legacy.
The Foundation was built upon the mantra, "while we have time, let us DO GOOD," and continues Stephen's legacy by supporting our nation's first responders and service members.
To learn more about Tunnel to Towers visit their website tunnel2towers.org