NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The New York Knicks teamed up with the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation to host their first ever 9/11 memorial stair climb Saturday.

“Some gave all that day, all gave some. We just feel that it’s right that we come out here and pay tribute to their memory,” an Engine 227 firefighter told CBS2’s Jenna DeAngelis.

Hundreds wrapped around the arena, climbing the equivalent of the 110 stories of the World Trade Center – each person holding a hero close.

“I kept looking down and was reminded of the gentleman that I was honoring today, Claude Daniel Richards, a detective for the New York Police Department,” former Knicks player Allan Houston said. 

Knicks legends John Starks and Bernard King also returned to Madison Square Garden for the event.

“We wanted to do something to give back to these incredible men and women who risk their lives every day to give us safety,” Starks said.

“I’m just here to play a very small role in supporting this organization,” said King.

The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation helps the families of all fallen firefighters.

“That is going to benefit the many children who are going to grow up fatherless because of 9/11 and because of 9/11-related disease,” retired FDNY Batalion Chief Dan Melia said.

Participants hoped it also serves as a reminder.

“Of what they’re doing every day when they sacrifice their life,” said Houston. “So it was an honor to be a part of it.”

More than $40,000 were raised and donations are still coming in. Proceeds will help those impacted here in New York and nationwide.

If you’d like to make a general gift to the Knicks’ 9-11 memorial climb, CLICK HERE.