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Berner Middle School Athletic Squads to Raise Funds for 9/11 Memorial

They may have only been toddlers during the 9/11 terrorist attacks, but seventh- and eighth-graders at Berner Middle School put their best foot forward to raise $5,200 for the construction of a memorial at John J. Burns Park.

More than 300 athletes from the girls and boys soccer teams, field hockey, football and cross country teams ran laps around the track and performed other tests of endurance as a way to raise money for the cause. Students also signed their names to papers cut in the shape of shoe soles that were put on display as a symbol of the miles they ran.

The effort was coordinated by middle school coaches Leigh Ann Zimmer and Beth Shackel-Scott in conjunction with Thomas Smith, a retired NYPD detective and one of the founders of Towers of Freedom Military Monument Committee, Inc. Other founders include retired members of FDNY, NYPD and U.S. Military, some of whom were first responders to the Twin Towers on 9/11.

In addition to honoring 9/11 victims, Smith said,” The memorial will pay tribute to the United Steel Workers who worked at the World Trade Center site and the military for protecting our freedom and ensuring that our country is safeguarded from terrorist attacks.”

The memorial will be constructed in the north center of the park adjacent to the administration building. The expected completion date is spring 2012.