A foundation started after the September 11th terrorist attacks in the honor of a fallen New York City firefighter is now providing help to the family of fallen Fulton County Sheriffs Deputy Troy Chisum.
The “Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation” — through its “Fallen First Responder Home Program” — is paying off the mortgage on Chisum’s home.
Stephen Siller’s brother Frank is CEO of the foundation, and tells WGIL Deputy Chisum’s widow Amanda couldn’t believe what was being done.
“My sister Mary spoke to [Chisum’s widow] Amanda, and she was just so very grateful. She kept saying over and over how grateful she was that the foundation was going to make sure that she had no mortgage payment,” says Frank Siller. “She was overwhelmed with the thought that her husband would be honored that people are doing this.”
Siller tells WGIL the more he hears about the Chisum marriage, the more it reminds him of his brother.
“She reminds me very much of my sister-in-law — matter of fact, the whole marriage is very similar to my brother and my sister-in-law,” says Siller. “Childhood sweehearts and beautiful kids. My brother has five kids; and, of course, the Chisum family has three beautiful girls.”
Siller says it’s gut-wrenching to see the types of loss families like the Chisums sustain, but it helps them to know to people care, and relieving a debt like this can make a world of difference.
The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation also builds homes for seriously injured veterans that can help them live more independently, and also builds homes for Gold Star families.
OUR FULL INTERVIEW WITH STEPHEN SILLER AIRS FRIDAY AT 5PM ON GALESBURG’S EVENING NEWS.