NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — For many, the day of mourning the victims of Sept. 11 is also a call to service. One local police chief did both.
Fairview Police Department’s Frank Del Vecchio spent Tuesday morning and afternoon running — both to remember the thousands killed and to raise money for the children left behind.
In the shadows the World Trade Center is where Del Vecchio ended his 26-mile journey, CBS 2’s Derricke Dennis reported.
An envelope of checks with donations of more than $10,000 for the children of 9/11 victims was raised by Chief Del Vecchio, who said he was on a marathon mission.
“I wanted to do something more than attending the memorials, which is great, but I wanted to do something a little bit more in their memory,” Del Vecchio said.
The 43-year-old decided just days ago to run 26 miles, from Ridgewood, N.J., across the George Washington Bridge and down to the World Trade Center site — every step raising money for the 9/11 charity “Tuesday’s Children.”
“If they can walk that mile without their loved ones, I can run 25 for them,” Del Vecchio said.
And run he did, without much training, and on short notice. Chief Del Vecchio said he drew strength and stamina from friends and family, fellow police officers, even strangers who donated and supported his cause.
“Oh it has been incredible, the people of Ridgewood, and the people of Fairview where I work, they were so extraordinarily generous, to raise $10,000 in a four-day time period is an incredible thing,” Del Vecchio said.
But the chairman of Tuesday’s Children said even with the chief’s efforts, so much more is needed.
It’s why Del Vecchio said he’s not done and is planning to run again next year so that the children of 9/11 victims won’t be forgotten.
“It’s a good feeling and it’s a real worthy cause,” he said.
Chief Del Vecchio’s plan is to gain sponsors and fellow runners to join him next year in hopes of raising even more money, and awareness for the children who lost loved ones 11 years ago.