The Ryan Family

The Ryan Family

Over a decade ago, Mark Ryan began a journey that would later become his legacy at the Tunnel to Towers Foundation.

On September 11, 2001, Probationary firefighter Mark Ryan was serving with FDNY Engine 249 when the World Trade Center was attacked. Mark responded to the attacks alongside fellow firefighters, many of whom did not make it home and many of whom now suffer from 9/11 related illnesses. Mark spent a full week away from home following that tragic day, and spent months aiding in the cleanup of Lower Manhattan.

In 2011, for the tenth anniversary of 9/11, Mark Ryan decided to participate in the Tunnel to Towers 5K Run & Walk alongside his wife, Jan, and his children, Zach and Meaghan. From that point on, Mark followed the foundation and kept up with the work being done to help America’s heroes, and, after his retirement, felt compelled to help in any way he could to help first responders and their families. Through joining the FDNY’s ceremonial unit, Mark was able to make many connections that eventually led him to be a part of the Tunnel to Towers Never Forget Walk to honor the 20th anniversary of 9/11. Inspired by his love of cooking, Mark accompanied Frank Siller and the Tunnel to Towers Foundation’s team on their walk and cooked for them and other volunteers, including making specialized meals to accommodate different dietary needs. Fueled by the excitement of the Never Forget walk, Mark, Jan, Meaghan and Kaitlyn signed up to participate in the 2021 New York City 5K Run and Walk.

Unable to run after undergoing cancer surgery in 2022, Mark and his family volunteered at the 2022 race, with every intention of running in 2023. That same year, Mark’s daughter, Meaghan, surprised him with a donation to the Tunnel to Towers Foundation from the theater group she works for, WRC Theater Company, who will be making another donation this summer in Mark’s honor.

After Mark’s sudden passing in January 2023, his wife and daughters made the decision that they would continue to run and fundraise in his honor. In his absence, the Ryan family has found comfort and support in family members and friends in their community, and have continued to turn their grief into acts of goodness that would have made Mark incredibly proud.

The Tunnel to Towers Foundation is eternally grateful for the contributions the Ryan family has made not only to our cause, but to our T2T Family. The memories shared with Mark will be forever cherished and his legacy will continue to live on through his family and their determination to DO GOOD.

The Coll Family

Megan Coll, Edward Coll, and Henry Coll are three cousins that will be running in the 2021 TCS New York City Marathon on Sunday, November 7th, 2021 in memory of Robert Coll— a loving father to his daughter Megan and fun-loving uncle to Edward and Henry, who was killed in the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Robert’s daughter and two nephews formed “Team Woody” for the marathon, which is Robert’s nickname given to him by his colleagues he worked with at the One World Trade Center. They are running and fundraising on behalf of the Tunnel to Towers Foundation— the preeminent 9/11 charity organization that was founded to honor the sacrifice of Fire Department of New York City (FDNY) Firefighter Stephen Siller, who gave his life while saving others on 9/11.

Robert Coll worked as a stock broker on the 81st floor of the South Tower. On September 11, 2001, he was last seen on the 80th floor of the building rendering aid to a woman who was in respiratory distress. Robert, along with a close friend and colleague, gave up their lives trying to save this woman who needed help and, sadly, they all perished that day.

Megan was only two years old when she lost her father on 9/11, and she had to learn about who her father was through the stories of his friends and family; Robert was described to her as a man who was caring, fun-loving, the life of the party, and a person who was always willing to lend a hand to those who needed him. Henry and Edward, Robert’s nephews, described their heroic uncle as a “jokester” and the “light of the family”.“Losing our uncle was truly a tragic loss to our family”, they said. Robert came from a family of nine, and was one of two boys.

Megan, Edward, and Henry have participated in the annual Tunnel to Towers New York City 5K Run & Walk several times in the past, and they have been familiar with the Foundation’s mission for a while. This year, they banded together and decided that they would to fundraise for a charity dedicated to ensuring America never forgets the great tragedy of the attacks on September 11, 2001— America’s Darkest Day. These three cousins are an active trio, and the three of them exercise regularly. Participating in this year’s marathon has a deeper meaning for them: they are commemorating the hallmark year of the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks, as well the 50th anniversary of the TCS New York City Marathon, and running in memory of Robert Coll makes this a momentous event for them.

All three cousins plan to stay involved with the Tunnel to Towers Foundation, and they are looking forward to participating in future events.

The Reedy Family

After participating in the Tunnel to Towers Foundation’s Never Forget Virtual Challenge in 2020, the Reedy family would forever be considered part of the T2T family, and have supported the foundation each year since.

After the passing of their beloved father and husband, NYPD Detective Mike Reedy, who passed away in the summer of 2019, Meghan, her sister Colleen, and their mother, Patty, decided to honor him by participating in the annual Tunnel to Towers Foundation’s New York City 5K Run and Walk. Detective Mike Reedy had dedicated his life to service, first enlisting in the United States Army, then serving for 25 years with the NYPD, and finally working with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office for 18 years. As her family grieved the loss of her father, Meghan knew that the best way to honor his devotion to serving his country and community was to pay it forward, and do good in his name.

Due to Covid restrictions in 2020, the foundation created the Never Forget Virtual Challenge in place of the annual 5K. The Reedy family took this challenge in stride, and raised over $4,000 for the Tunnel to Towers Foundation. Paying tribute to Detective Reedy, who served as the Senior Drum Sergeant in the NYPD’s Emerald Society Pipes and Drums band for almost 30 years, members of the band played in front of the Reedy’s home to kick off the first 5K for NYPD Detective Reedy’s Squad. To the sound of bagpipes and drums, the Reedy family reflected on Mike’s legacy, and knew that he would be so proud of the resilience of his wife and daughters.

The Tunnel to Towers Foundation would like to extend our gratitude to the Reedy family for their continued support!

Michael Pelliccio

Michael Pelliccio, a Bayonne, New Jersey native, and now Bayonne Firefighter, was in elementary school just across the Hudson River from Manhattan when the World Trade Center was attacked on September 11, 2001. Michael was inspired by the first responders who worked at Ground Zero in the days and months following 9/11, and would eventually work alongside many of them at the Bayonne Fire Department. However, Michael isn’t the only member of his family who felt called to serve, as his brother, Anthony Pelliccio, enlisted in the United States Army following the attacks and now serves as a Police Lieutenant in Bayonne, New Jersey. Before them, both of their grandfathers had served in the United States military.

Michael’s devotion to service is made clear by his ten years of service as a firefighter, and a recent promotion to Captain in October 2022, as well as his decade long commitment to the mission of the Tunnel to Towers Foundation. Michael ran in the Tunnel to Towers NYC 5K for the first time in 2013, and was motivated to continue participating in the race each year after seeing so many Military Heroes and First Responders come out to show their support, as well as seeing other teams who show up in troves. Michael founded the “Bayonne’s Bravest” team in 2014, and has since raised over $50,000 for T2T. This year, they have partnered with Bayonne Police to honor four officers who lost their lives this past year, and this will be their largest team to date.

Michael has stated that the most rewarding part of his involvement with T2T are the families and individuals that receive assistance from the foundation, and that it is truly awe inspiring to see the veterans and first responders who attend events and the passion they demonstrate.

The Tunnel to Towers Foundation would like to thank Michael Pelliccio for his decade of support for the foundation!

Laurie Rudnick

Like so many others, September 11, 2001 left a void in Laurie Rudnick’s family with the loss of her beloved cousins, FDNY firefighter John Vigiano II and NYPD Detective Joseph Vigiano, who were like brothers to her. Every holiday, birthday, and Sunday dinner to follow would serve as a reminder of their absence and the familiar feeling that something – or someone – was missing.

In the following years, Laurie would see television coverage of the Tunnel to Towers NYC 5K Run & Walk every September, eventually deciding to follow Tunnel to Towers on social media and keep up with the foundation’s mission to do good. In 2013, Laurie was able to participate in the NYC 5K for the first time, walking in Stephen Siller’s footsteps, overwhelmed by the feeling in the air as she emerged from the tunnel. From that day on, Laurie was hooked.

For ten years now, Laurie has joined the Tunnel to Towers Foundation at the annual New York City 5K, decked out in red, white, and blue as part of Team Vigiano in honor of her cousins, with the promise to never forget the tragedy that was 9/11. In fact, Laurie has made it her mission to ensure that Team Vigiano is represented every year. Whether they are contributing to meeting her fundraising goals, cheering her on from the sidelines or walking by her side as she crosses the finish line, friends and family accompany Laurie every year in her quest to make a difference, ending the day at the 9/11 memorial to pay respects to the lives we lost on that fateful day.

The Tunnel to Towers Foundation would like to thank Laurie, her family and friends for the decade of support that has inspired so many to join in on our mission to Do Good and Never Forget.