9/11 Memorial fund raising continues with Coach Ray Tanner

Ground breaking ceremony for the First Responders Memorial

Columbia (WACH)"As efforts continue to raise money for the First Responders Remembrance Memorial , Coach Ray Tanner is the planned speaker at a fund raising dinner and cocktail hour Thursday night at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center.

The evening will include a cocktail hour with Coach Tanner, followed by dinner, comments from the Coach, a question and answer session, and silent auction, all with the goal of raising funds for the First Responders project.

The memorial will honor those who lost their lives on the attacks in New York City on September 11 . It will also bear the names of all the Midlands First Responders, including police, fire, EMS, and Military, who have given their lives in service since that morning in 2001.

The First Responders Remembrance Memorial will include a pair of 25 foot granite towers and 2 15 foot steel beams that were awarded to the State of South Carolina by The City of New York, placed at the Convention Center. The towers symbolize the strong resolve of the United States, and the beams, which will be crossed, symbolize the uniting of the country after the attacks.

Read more Midlands breaks ground on 9/11 memorial Midlands memorial to honor victims of Sept. 11 attack

With a total cost nearing $750,000 dollars, over $500,000 has been donated with in-kind services from community and business leaders, including engineers, construction companies, communications firms, electricians, and many others. According to project founder Dan Hennigan, the project is still short about $80,000 to cover completion.

There is an official First Responders Remembrance Memorial unveiling ceremony planned on Sunday, September 11, 2011 at 3:00 PM at theConvention Center, where the memorial will stand. As part of the ceremony, families from the 47 Midlands First Responders who have fallen since September 11, 2001 will be honored and presented with a memorial stone. The United States Air Force and Coast Guard plan flyovers, and all branches of Military service, police, fire, and EMS will be represented.

Tickets for Thursday TMs dinner are still available at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center, and more information about the project, and donations can be made at the First Responders Memorial website.

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