MARIETTA - Army SPC Kyle Hockenberry's smart house is more than two-thirds of the way funded after Aug. 16's concert in Marietta.
A joint effort by the Tunnel to Towers Foundation and the Gary Sinise Foundation, the Lt. Dan Band concert was the first large push toward funding a smart home for Hockenberry, who lost both legs above the knee and his left arm above the elbow more than a year ago while serving in Afghanistan.
"We're still totaling everything, but we raised over $200,000 at the concert," said Tunnel to Towers spokesman Chris Kuban.
Led by Actor Gary Sinise, best known for his roles in "CSI: NY" and "Forrest Gump," the concert drew nearly 3,000 attendees. Marietta College's Dyson Baudo Recreation Center was at capacity, said Kuban.
Aside from ticket sales, the concert also brought in funds through sponsorships and T-shirt and soda sales.
Hockenberry's home building effort is being spearheaded by Building for America's Bravest, a program formed by both The Tunnel to Towers and the Gary Sinise Foundation that works to generate funding to build smart homes for wounded soldiers.
Hockenberry's house was estimated to cost $375,000. The builders are now searching for a new location to build on after it was decided that it would be too difficult to construct on the property that was chosen initially, said Kuban.
In the meantime, there are four upcoming Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers runs scheduled throughout Ohio on Sept. 8 and 9 that aim to earn money for the cause.
These runs help raise money for soldiers like Hockenberry while also honoring the memory of New York City firefighter Stephen Siller, who died during the 9-11 attacks on the Twin Towers, said Randy Payne, Cincinnati's race director and mid-west coordinator for The Tunnel to Towers Foundation.
Siller had been on his way home when news of the attacks came across his scanner. Unable to drive through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, Siller donned his full gear and ran through the tunnel to reach the towers.
The first three Ohio runs will take place Sept. 8 in Medina, Defiance and Marietta.
The organizers of the Marietta say they run hope that by holding the race during the Sternwheel Festival, they will attract more participants who might not have been in town otherwise. Additionally, the race is great way for the community to continue their already overwhelming support of Hockenberry, said C.W. Durham, run director and Marietta Fire Department Chief.
"It's such a great cause. I can't imagine not wanting to help out Kyle," said Durham.
The Marietta race will depart from Tomlinson Park in Williamstown at 8 a.m. The 5K race will take runners across the Williamstown Bridge, along the River Trail, and finish at the intersection of Front and Washington streets. The Valley Gem sternwheeler will be available to transport runners back to the Williamstown boat ramp.
So far approximately 70 runners have registered and raised $5,000 toward the $50,000 goal. The race organizers are still looking for volunteers, sponsors and participants, said Durham.
The fourth run is scheduled for the next day in Cincinnati.
Payne said the Cincinnati race will resemble the original New York City run in several ways. The race will take runners through a tunnel and past the images of the 343 firefighters who lost their lives on Sept. 11. Payne anticipates that some participants will race in full firefighter gear to honor Siller's memory.
Those looking to register for any of the four races can visit www.t2trun.org and search for a participating city.
Supporters can also see the funding progress of Hockenberry's home and donate at www.buildingforamericasbravest.com.