Eight Fallen California First Responders have Mortgages Paid In Full Kicking off Tunnel to Towers’ Season of Hope

The Third Annual Season of Hope Will Deliver 65 Mortgage-Free Homes Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve

Staten Island, NY – The Tunnel to Towers Foundation’s third annual Season of Hope began today by paying, in full, the mortgages on the homes of eight fallen California First Responders.

The Tunnel to Towers Foundation has ensured these families, who are facing the holiday season without their loved one, will always have a place to call home.

Tunnel to Towers paid off the mortgages on the homes of:

  • Los Angeles Deputy Sheriff Thomas Albanese
  • Los Angeles County Firefighter Specialist Tory Carlon
  • Riverside County Sheriff’s Department Sergeant Harry Cohen
  • San Diego Police Officer David Sisto
  • Pomona Police Officer Greggory Casillas
  • San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Dominic Vaca
  • Kern County Deputy Sheriff Phillip Campas
  • Sacramento County Deputy Sheriff Adam Gibson

Tunnel to Towers Season of Hope celebrates the holidays by delivering the financial security of a mortgage-free home to fallen first responder families around the country.

This year Tunnel to Towers will be delivering 65 mortgage-payoffs between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve.

Lisa Cohen, wife of fallen Riverside County Sheriff’s Department Sergeant Harry Cohen, said Tunnel to Towers support will allow her to stay in the community that has supported her family.

To know that the home that I shared with my amazing husband, a home we planned to retire in, a home that I feel safest in, is going to be mine without any financial worries means the world to me. That I will get to stay in this home, gives me and my daughter the most security, forever,” said Lisa Cohen.

Los Angeles County Firefighter Specialist Tory Carlon lost his life in the line of duty in June. When told her mortgage had been paid in full, his wife Heidi was at a loss for words.

The emotion is so overwhelming and all that I can think of is how this would make my husband feel…knowing that this Foundation is taking care of usa thank you doesn’t even seem to come close to expressing our gratitude,” said Heidi Carlon.

Sgt. Dominic Vaca, a 17-year veteran of the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, was killed in the line of duty on Memorial Day.

“Words can’t express how much this means to me and my girls. I’m honestly speechless and in shock that we’re being blessed to this degree,” said his wife Valerie Vaca.

In January, Sacramento Sheriff’s Deputy Adam Gibson was shot and killed in the line of duty.  Tunnel to Towers immediately took on the mortgage on his family’s home. This month the Foundation was honored to announce that the mortgage has been paid in full.

“The feeling of my house being paid off is such a relief…My husband and I built this house so to be able to raise our daughter in it is such a blessing. It gives us so much to be thankful for this year, even if it is the worst year of our lives,” said Rachel Gibson.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Tunnel to Towers Foundation. The third annual Season of Hope is the culmination of the Foundation’s anniversary events.

So far this year Tunnel to Towers has delivered 135 mortgage-free homes across the country.

The 65 homes in Season of Hope will bring the total to 200 homes for the year, and 450 homes in the Foundation’s two-decade history.

“This year we saw the country come together to support the Tunnel to Towers Foundation and its mission. We saw people from all walks of life join us on this quest to support our nation’s first responders and military families, those heroes – who are willing to lay down their lives for you or me – every single day,” said Tunnel to Towers Chairman and CEO  Frank Siller.

For more information on Tunnel to Towers’ mission to support America’s veterans, fallen first responders and Gold Star families, visit T2T.org and consider donating just $11 per month.

About the Tunnel to Towers Foundation

The Tunnel to Towers Foundation is dedicated to honoring the sacrifice of FDNY Firefighter Stephen Siller, who laid down his life to save others on September 11, 2001. For 20 years the Foundation has supported our nation’s first responders, veterans, and their families by providing these heroes and the families they leave behind with mortgage-free homes. For more about the Tunnel to Towers Foundation and its commitment to DO GOOD, please visit T2T.org.

Follow Tunnel to Towers on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at @Tunnel2Towers.

About the Tunnel to Towers Foundation

Born from the tragedy of 9/11, the Tunnel to Towers Foundation carries out its mission to “do good,” by providing mortgage-free homes to Gold Star and fallen first responder families with young children and by building specially-adapted smart homes for catastrophically injured veterans and first responders. Tunnel to Towers is also committed to eradicating veteran homelessness and helping America to Never Forget September 11, 2001. Visit T2T.org to learn more.

Follow Tunnel to Towers on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.