RIPLEY, WV (WOWK) — A 5K to support those seriously wounded who help protect our freedom and personal safety started today in Ripley.

The Tunnel to Towers Foundation is behind the 5K. They build adaptive homes for those who’ve been seriously wounded while serving others.

On their website, they say the run and walk event is about, “[following] the footsteps of 9/11 hero, New York City firefighter Stephen Siller, to ensure that we never forget and honor the sacrifices of our nation’s first responders and military heroes.”

“They are willing to lay down their lives for us, and they might not even know us, so this is something that really takes care of them and helps them so this is a good cause to get behind,” said race director Sophia Wigal.

The City of Ripley Chocolate Festival is set to start after the 5K at 10 a.m.