2023 First Responders Championship Golf Outing
Teaming up to honor fallen first responders
June 19, 2023
With the grass a pristine green color and not a cloud in the sky, local financial planning firm, Menninger & Associates hosted their third annual charity golf outing. This year was different though; for the first time, the partner charity wasn’t one founded in the immediate area. Tunnel to Towers Foundation is a non-profit organization that honors the sacrifice of firefighter Stephen Siller, who laid down his life to save others on September 11, 2001. They also honor our military and first responders, who continue to risk the ultimate sacrifice for our country. The name may be recognizable, as the charity was responsible for paying off the mortgage of fallen Pennsylvania State Trooper Branden Sisca as part of its annual Season of Hope Campaign.
Firefighter Stephen Gerard Siller was the youngest of seven children born to Mae and George Siller. At the age of eight, Stephen lost his father, and a year and a half later his mother passed away, leaving him an orphan to be raised by his older siblings. For a while Stephen went through a period of struggle, but thanks to the love of his siblings, and the values instilled in him by his parents, he grew up to be an extraordinary individual and dedicated firefighter.
On September 11, 2001, Stephen, who was assigned to Brooklyn’s Squad 1, had just finished his shift and was on his way to play golf with his brothers when he got word over his scanner of a plane hitting the North Tower of the World Trade Center. Upon hearing the news, Stephen called his wife Sally and asked her to tell his brothers he would catch up with them later. He returned to Squad 1 to get his gear.
Stephen drove his truck to the entrance of the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, but it had already been closed for security purposes. Determined to carry out his duty, he strapped 60 lbs. of gear to his back, and raced on foot through the tunnel to the Twin Towers, where he gave up his life while saving others.
Stephen had everything to live for; a great wife, five wonderful children, a devoted extended family, and friends. Stephen’s parents were lay Franciscans and he grew up under the guiding philosophy of St. Francis of Assisi, whose encouraging and inspirational phrase “while we have time, let us do good” were words that Stephen lived by. Stephen’s life and heroic death serve as a reminder to us all to live life to the fullest and to spend our time here on earth doing good – this is his legacy.
The First Responders Championship hosted 85 golfers competing for the second year at the beautifully designed Brookside Country Club in Pottstown, PA. Golfers teed off in a scramble format with mini games and beverages to make the day even more enjoyable. One mini game saw the outing host, Michael Menninger, challenge golfers to outshoot him on the course’s signature par 3, and another where the ‘Blind Tee Shot’ led to a comfortable eagle. With a record 28 qualifiers in this year’s putting contest, it was Leslie Knapp who aced a 30-foot, winding putt to claim victory as this year’s putting champ. Leslie, and this years “beat the host” winner, Tre’ Wilkins both donated their winnings. The day was beautifully captured by photographer and bronze sponsor, Silver Orchid Photography.
The stunning dinner provided by Mike Sloane’s team at Brookside Country Club topped the day off. From prime rib to chicken marsala and even an ice cream bar, golfers ended a full round of 18 holes with a hearty dinner. The winning foursome (which turned out to be 3 golfers) finished at -18 and took home their crystal trophies. This was by far the most competitive year, and we hope to see an even tougher field next year.
The outing received overwhelming support from local businesses. In all, there were 28 total sponsors this year. The premier sponsors included: Hallam Engineering & Construction, Pimco, J.M. Pereira & Sons, Boomtown Internet Group, Upper Providence Living, Lower Providence Living, Silver Orchid Photography, Slim Phox Studio, Well Crafted Brewery, Philadelphia Eagles, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Goldfish Swim School – Oaks, Philadelphia Flyers, Ameritas, Hartford Funds, Prudential, Columbia Threadneedle, Homer Print Media, and of course, Menninger & Associates.
Menninger & Associates would like to sincerely thank Tunnel to Towers Foundation, the sponsors, golfers, and the community for their time, generosity, and support with this event. If you know a local charity that would be interested in our 2024 outing, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 610.422.3773.
Menninger & Associates offers securities and advisory services through LPL Financial, a registered investment advisor, Member FINRA /SIPC. Menninger & Associates and LPL Financial are not affiliated or endorse any of the other organizations or entities mentioned in this article.
Hosted at Brookside Country Club
The charitable entities described herein are not endorsed by, or affiliated with Menninger & Associates or LPL Financial.