Eugene Cash

Eugene Cash

Eugene Cash is the epitome of generosity and kindness. From his time in the US Air Force to his skillfully crafted dollhouses, his dedication to his community is an inspiration to us all.

Eugene enlisted in the Air Force when he was only 18 years old and proceeded to attend flight school, where he received his wings. His son, Lieutenant Colonel Steve Cash, and his son-in-law, Colonel Rob Hughes also served in the Air Force for over two decades. Eugene served selflessly and bravely for an amazing 25 years. After two decades of service, including a deployment to Johnston Atoll AFB, 750 miles from Hawaii, he retired as a Colonel in 1976.

In addition to his feats in the Air Force, Eugene has experience and knowledge in the construction field. He first applied this knowledge to a handcrafted dollhouse for his daughter, Brenda, in 1989 who still helps with the colors, floorplan, and the selection of furniture. This dollhouse took years to complete due to its level of detail and intricate artistry. Shortly thereafter, he began to build them for his nieces and grandchildren. In addition to those he created for his family, Eugene built, restored, and donated multiple dollhouses to the Make-a-Wish® Foundation. He has crafted 30 over his lifetime, 10 of which were original designs. Incredibly, each dollhouse is equipped with functional light switches, doorbells, and other home amenities.

Despite having retired from the Air Force, Eugene’s passion for service has continued on. His involvement in the Air Force has made him extremely dedicated to helping military families in any way he can. During his retirement he moved to Florida, where he first encountered Tunnel to Towers team members at a Let Us Do Good Village groundbreaking. Here, he described his dollhouses and expressed his interest in donating them to program recipients. Since then, he has donated dollhouses to 6 different families with young children, including the Harris family, the Magner family, the Magli family, the Baxter family, the Joslyn family, and the Thornton family. These were received with such joy and gratitude that he is currently building a new dollhouse for another family.

Eugene goes on daily walks and has begun training during his retirement years. His goal is to increase his activity in order to prepare for the T2T 2024 5K Run & Walk NYC in September. In addition to his anticipated participation in the 5K, he hopes to meet both members of the Foundation as well as the program recipients. He looks forward to remaining involved in the Foundation.

The Tunnel to Towers Foundation would like to thank Eugene for his contributions to our mission and to our T2T family. His generosity and service has and will continue to help us do good.

Michelle Chernyavsky

Michelle Chernyavsky is a high school student and avid volunteer with the Tunnel to Towers Foundation— the preeminent 9/11 charity organization that was founded from the tragedy of that day to honor the sacrifice of the Fire Department of New York City (FDNY) Firefighter Stephen Siller, who gave his life while saving others on 9/11.

Michelle has been a volunteer with Tunnel to Towers since March 2021 with the In the Line of Duty Program when she was just 13 years old, learning about the Foundation through her family. The In the Line of Duty Program consists of the Smart Home program, the Fallen First Responder Program, and the Gold Star Program. After learning about our mission, she wanted to make a positive impact in the lives of the people that we help.

The In the Line of Duty Program administrators communicate directly with Tunnel to Towers’ home recipients, and Michelle displays sincere care and compassion for each of our program participants. Some of Michelle’s tasks include writing handwritten birthday cards, holiday cards, Line of Duty Death anniversary cards, and packaging personalized gifts to our home recipients. She takes careful care and consideration into each handwritten note that is sent out to them.

Michelle initially volunteered to fulfill the required community service hours for her school, and though she had been offered other opportunities to volunteer she chose Tunnel to Towers above all other opportunities. Michelle wanted to join in on our mission to do good and help the families with young children of America’s heroes and also help our nation’s most catastrophically injured veterans. Although she fulfilled her required community service hours for the school year in June 2021, she continued to volunteer at Tunnel to Towers twice a week through the summer months and has far exceeded the required amount of community service hours for this school year. Michelle has completed over 200 hours volunteering with the Foundation.

Michelle recognizes the value in every task that she undertakes, and she takes her volunteer role very seriously at Tunnel to Towers. She has been dubbed the “Volunteer of the Year” for the In the Line of Duty team; Michelle is an asset to the home recipient program administrators, putting her heart into her work while bringing a positive attitude each and every day that she comes in.