BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Next weekend, hundreds of people will take to the streets in Cheektowaga for the annual Tunnel to Towers 5K to honor fallen military and first responders. This year, the race will also put a spotlight on the life and legacy of fallen Buffalo firefighter Jason Arno, who died fighting a fire in March.

The 5K run and walk is hosted locally by the Bellevue Fire Department in Cheektowaga on Sept. 16. The event draws hundreds of first responders, friends, families and neighbors for a tribute to the lives lost in the 9/11 terror attacks, with all proceeds benefitting the Tunnel to Towers Foundation’s mission of providing mortgage-free homes to Gold Star and fallen first responder families. The event features a post race fundraiser at The Blackthorn starting at 11 a.m.

Buffalo native Lisa Amatura, a local squad member for Tunnel to Towers who was rescued from the 70th floor of the first tower to fall at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, called Tunnel to Towers, which provides services to veterans and first responders and their families nationwide, an “incredible foundation.”

“For me to be able to participate here and know the ties to the organization in New York City is incredible.

Amatura joined News 4 at 4 with Dave Greber and Jordan Norkus to preview next weekend’s event. You can watch the full interview in the video player above.

To get involved with Bellevue Fire Company’s Tunnel to Towers 5K Run & Walk, click here.

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Justin McMullen is a Western New York native who joined the News 4 team in 2023. You can read more of his work here.