New York, NY, September 8, 2008 – Voices of September 11th, a leading 9/11 organization, will present retired NY Giants great George Martin with its prestigious “Building Bridges Award” at its annual Commemorative Luncheon in New York City on the anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy. The award recognizes Mr. Martin’s recent historic charitable cross-country walk in support of thousands of ailing rescue and recovery workers of Ground Zero.
Mr. Martin, a vice president at AXA Equitable and retired co-captain of the Super Bowl XXI Champion New York Giants, will be recognized for founding and directing “a Journey for 9/11” and his recent 3,003- mile walk from New York City to San Diego. To date, his Journey has raised $2+ million for 9/11 rescue and recovery workers from all 50 states who are now seriously ill as a result of their service in the aftermath of the attacks on the World Trade Center.
Voices of September 11th Founding Director Mary Fetchet and her husband Frank Fetchet will present the award at the organization’s annual luncheon at the Marriott NY Downtown at 85 West Street (formerly called the Marriott Financial Center) on Thursday, Sept. 11, 2008. The luncheon, which runs from noon through 3:00 PM, follows the annual ceremonies that morning at Ground Zero. Several dignitaries from the New York area are expected to attend.
“It is appropriate and gratifying to honor George Martin for his extraordinary effort to help the ailing WTC responders and draw significant attention to their plight,” said Mary Fetchet, who co-founded Voices of September 11th following the death of her 24-year-old son, Brad, in the attacks on the World Trade Center. “George’s generosity and personal sacrifice for those in need is extraordinary, and we’re honored to recognize him.”
The Building Bridges Award is presented to individuals who have made important contributions to support the 9/11 community. Past recipients include the 9/11 Commission co-chairmen -- former New Jersey Governor Thomas Kean and former U.S. Rep. Lee Hamilton; the Robin Hood Foundation; Dr. Charles Hirsch, New York Medical Examiner; U.S. Senators Joseph Lieberman and Susan Collins; U.S. Representatives Carolyn Maloney and Christopher Shays; and several 9/11 organizations, including mygooddeed.org.
“I am humbled to receive this honor from those who were directly impacted by and suffered such loss from the attacks of September 11th,” Mr. Martin said. “While the walking part of our Journey has concluded, our work and mission continues. We need to make sure that the Ground Zero responders get all the medical care they need and deserve.”
The Medical Problems of Working at Ground Zero
George Martin’s Journeyis raising funds to provide medical monitoring and healthcare for 9/11 responders who are suffering from chronic bronchial disease, leukemia and other cancers, post traumatic stress disorder and other medical conditions stemming from their service at Ground Zero after the attacks of September 11, 2001. Medical studies indicate that working at Ground Zero led to serious, long-term medical problems for tens of thousands of 9/11 responders:
A study by Mt. Sinai Medical Center found that nearly 70 percent of the 40,000+ 9/11 responders have suffered lung disease and other health problems.
|One in five has low lung capacity, five times the normal rate.|
|One in eight developed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (Source: NYC Department of Mental Health and Hygiene).|
|The rate of those developing asthmatic conditions after exposure to Ground Zero is 12 times the normal adult rate.|
In October 2007, Mr. Martin walked through Washington, DC, where he met with several members of the U.S. Congress who are advocating legislation for additional funding for 9/11 healthcare programs. For more information, visit: http://maloney.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1468&Itemid=61. For more information on the status of federal 9/11 healthcare legislation, visit: http://maloney.house.gov/documents/911recovery/backgroundmemo.pdf.
About George Martin’s “a Journey for 9/11”
George Martin was a star defensive end and co-captain of the Super Bowl XXI Champion NY Giants (1986) and is a former president of the NFL Players Association. He began his Journey at the George Washington Bridge on Sept. 16, 2007, passing through portions of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California. Along the way, the retired NFL great visited schools, fire houses, police stations, government offices, and other places where he raised funds for and awareness about the plight of Ground Zero workers. He concluded the Journey on June 21, 2008, in San Diego.
Mr. Martin has participated in hundreds of media interviews about the medical plight of the 9/11 workers, resulting in thousands of news reports and substantially raising the nation’s awareness about this issue. For his charitable efforts, Mr. Martin was named one of ABC News’ 2007 “Persons of the Year,” received the prestigious Heisman Humanitarian Award, and was recognized with an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters Degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey for his lifelong commitment to community service. To contribute or find out more info, visit www.ajourneyfor911.info or call 1-800-889-8038.
About VOICES of September 11th
Voices of September 11th was co-founded by 9/11 family members Mary Fetchet and Beverly Eckert immediately following the attacks on September 11th. The organization provides information and resources to over 7,000 9/11 families, rescue workers and survivors impacted by the attacks on September 11, 2001. VOICES services include teleconference support groups, case management services, a weekly e-newsletter and an annual September 10th Information Forum and September 11th Commemorative Luncheon in New York City. VOICES supported the creation of the 9/11 Commission and legislation based on their recommendations, with a focus on promoting preparedness on the local, state and federal level.
In 2006 VOICES launched the 9/11 Living Memorial, a digital archive, www.911livingmemorial.org, that commemorates the lives lost and documents firsthand accounts of rescue workers and survivors. The 9/11 Living Memorial includes photographs, written tributes and personal keepsakes as well as documentation of memorials and memorial foundations that were created in their memory. A family tribute page has been created for each of the nearly 3,000 victims along with a personal guestbook in which family, friends and coworkers can share their reflections. For more info, visit www.voicesofsept11.org or call (203) 966-3911.
Jay S. Winuk, Winuk Communications, Inc.
(845) 277-1160 (office)
(914) 523-3227 (cell)
Voices of September 11th
(203) 321-5562 (cell)