On September 11, 2001 Sergeant Thomas Fennessy ran out of his home and into a car with his partner, Officer Frank James and Officer Leo Niemczyk immediately following the World Trade Center terrorist attacks. Venturing towards Manhattan he watched as a perfect blue sky morning turned into the blackest of nights, unsure of what was next to come. But it’s no surprise that a brave man like Fennessy flew towards the scene without hesitation, because that is what a true hero does.
After months of cleanup at Ground Zero followed by his retirement in July 2002, Tom dreaded reflecting on the events of 9/11. Although he returned home safely, he never spoke of what he had endured, and no matter how much time passed it never seemed to become easier. 16 years after the attacks, Fennessy was diagnosed with glioblastoma, a brain tumor he would then battle against for 21 arduous months. But his fight still highlighted every part of who he was—valiant, strong-willed and even humorous. Surrounded by doctors,nurses, therapists and other patients, his larger-than-life personality allowed each of these people to see the admirable man I always looked up to and am lucky enough to call my father. His recent passing on July 19 has left an emptiness in my heart, a void that can never be replaced, and my life forever changed. My dad was and will always be my best friend, the person whose greatness I will strive to emulate, and the most perfect example of what a wonderful man should be.
Now it is our time to fight back for what was taken from us. My goal in creating this team is to gather together and honor my dad for the incredible hero he is. Proceeds from this fundraiser and event support the Foundation’s programs, including those benefitting first responders, and catastrophically injured service members. I appreciate all of the continued support from each and every one of you, now let’s FIGHT BACK FOR FENNESSY!