TANNERSVILLE, PA.—Many, especially New Yorkers, know the significance of the number 343. But few know the sober reality of the number 181. FDNY lost 343 members on September 11, 2001. More than 17 years after the worst terror attack in U.S. history, a staggering additional 181 line-of-duty deaths are directly linked to 9/11. All 181 were a result of various illnesses, the overwhelming majority of them cancers, linked to the toxic exposure during the FDNY’s rescue and recovery effort at the World Trade Center site. This number is only rising.
As part of a unique program, Camelback Gives Back, FDNY Foundation, FDNY Family Assistance Unit (FAU) and Camelback Resort in Tannersville, Pa., joined forces to salute the NYC 9/11 First Responders and the families of both 343 and 181 with an invitation to simply get away and have a meaningful, fun-filled experience inside Aquatopia indoor waterpark.
“Our mission is to help FDNY families heal,” said Evelyn Tesoriero, Assistant Commissioner, Family Assistance Unit, FDNY. “Today, nearly two decades after 9/11, the average age of those courageous, FDNY first responders is 55. Many are now parents or grandparents. Healing comes in many ways, so to work with Camelback Resort to offer a day of laughter and fun was a true blessing for so many of the FDNY families.”
Program Established in 2016
The Camelback Gives Back program was established in 2016 to literally give back to the community by working with various groups in need to create memorable experiences at Camelback Resort. The mission of this program is to help deliver unforgettable, meaningful experiences for these special guests and to help them forget, if even for a day or two, about their daily struggles. Through this program, Camelback has also welcomed Purple Heart recipients, The Breasties, a special group of women affected by breast and ovarian cancer, and this year, families of FDNY’s 343 and 181.
“Camelback Resort serves over 1.6 million guests annually, and while for many years we also served the local community through Camelback’s Big Give, we saw the opportunity to make an even greater impact by launching Camelback Gives Back,” said Brian Czarnecki, President & COO. “And for those who made the ultimate sacrifice, it’s not just about one day. We will continue to work with the FDNY Foundation to deliver memorable resort-wide experiences throughout 2019.”
Click here for a video.