The 9/11 Time for Heroes Auction collaboration between the Tunnel to Towers Foundation and William Wood Watches, a British luxury watch company, raised $19,000 for the Foundation – the highest winning bid made by supporter Al Minite – with an additional $10,000 raised through a second commemorative, 100-piece watch range.
Al Minite is the President of Siena, a flooring sales and manufacturing company, as well as the Principal of Alks & Associates, which provides large-scale and commercial flooring solutions consultancy to clients in the corporate world, healthcare, institutional and government sectors.
Al is a Long Island native from the town of North Lindenhurst in Suffolk County, and he grew up around policemen and firemen and has been around the first responder community for many years. Al’s father, Anthony Minite Sr., served in the Pacific Theatre in the Navy during WWII from 1943-1945; he was also a volunteer firefighter in the North Lindenhurst Fire Department for over 45 years, and reached the rank of Fire Chief. Al’s mother, Antoinette Minite, was President of the Ladies Auxiliary in the North Lindenhurst Fire Department. Al is a recurring donor with the Tunnel to Towers Foundation—his upbringing and his parent’s involvement in the North Lindenhurst Fire Department instilled in him a great love and appreciation for first responders. Growing up, Al was able to experience the brotherhood within the fire department and he has always felt a connection to firefighters.
When Tunnel to Towers announced the partnership with William Wood Watches honoring the 20th anniversary of the September 11th attacks, Al was excited to participate. The one-of-a-kind watch was also accompanied by a 100-piece limited-edition commemorative 9/11 watch range. Al bought one of the commemorative watches, but decided to also place a bid in the auction to do more to support the Foundation.
The watch honors the heroes who made the supreme sacrifice of laying down their lives to rescue those down at Ground Zero – just as Stephen Siller did when he strapped 60 lbs. of gear to his back and ran through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel. All proceeds from the auction of this unique timepiece will go directly to the Foundation’s Fallen First Responder Home Program, which pays off the mortgages of the families of law enforcement officers and firefighters who lose their lives in the line of duty.
Printed onto the back glass of the watch is the magnificent silhouette of the Twin Towers – an iconic piece of New York City skyline that stood in lower Manhattan before the tragedy of 9/11. Engraved into the watch case are the words ‘09/11 20 Years’ as a special tribute to this milestone anniversary.
The special edition 9/11 Time for Heroes watch is one of exquisite craftsmanship forged in the prestigious Jura Mountains in Switzerland known as the Watch Valley. It is part of a chronograph series with dials inspired by a fire engine cab, hands mirroring water pressure pump gauges, the crown made from an original melted down vintage 1920’s British brass firefighter’s helmet, upcycled fire hose straps made and is placed in a distinctive genuine Italian leather case with the design inspired by a British fire alarm call box.
Johnny Garrett remarked on the awe-inspiring dedication to service that the Tunnel to Towers Foundation has for its program recipients. “I knew that this was a remarkable organization that we had to support,” said Johnny, “we are delighted to be standing alongside this brilliant organization and raising funds in commemoration of such a significant event which shook the world.”