Plymouth, Mich.—More than 100 golfers gathered here last month to remember and honor the fallen New York City firefighters who perished on Sept. 11, 2001, as part of the inaugural Carl & Fran Francavilla Charity Golf Outing. Proceeds from the event, including raffles, benefited The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation along with Building for America’s Bravest.
“I asked the golfers to play like there was no tomorrow, because we never know what that day will bring us,” said event coordinator Cathy Buchanan, owner of Independence Carpet One Floor & Home in Westland, Mich.
The golf event is symbolic. Siller, a New York City firefighter, was returning to Staten Island after work on Sept. 11 to play golf with his brothers when he heard about the attacks at the World Trade Center. He canceled the outing and headed to Lower Manhattan to help out, running on foot through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel to get there.
The charity golf outing hosted more than 30 sponsors and included a buffet dinner and presentations along with the distribution of prizes and raffles. The money raised goes toward the building of adapted smart homes for injured soldiers returning from Afghanistan.
Buchanan said she was immediately drawn to this program after listening to Frank Siller, Travis Mills, Todd Lively and Todd Love speak at the Carpet One convention in Phoenix in 2014. She started fundraising through wine-tasting events, various sales and now her first charity golf outing. In four years, Independence Carpet One has donated upwards of $65,000 to the Stephen Siller Foundation. This year’s event featured 343 lawn signs with the faces of New York City firefighters who lost their lives on 9/11.
Buchanan and fellow members have taken part in the Tunnel to Towers 5K in New York City every September. Independent Carpet One now participates in the Berkley, Mich., T2T5K as a corporate sponsor. Buchanan’s staff has provided flooring for two homes in Michigan—one in Ludington for Staff Sergeant (SSG) Eric Lund and one for SSG Ben Eberle in Alpena, Mich.