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Feb 1st 2024

CCA deepens ties with charity partner tunnel to towers

February 1, 2024

DALLAS, TX (January 31, 2024) – At the CCA Global Partners Retail Group’s conneXtion™ Conference at the Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center in Dallas, TX the group featured a spotlight on their longtime charitable partnership with the Tunnel to Towers Foundation. The non-profit organization supports America’s first responders and military heroes through their Smart Home Program, Gold Star Family Home Program, and national fundraising efforts.

This year, the CCA Global Partners Retail Group aims to raise $250,000 for Tunnel to Towers via member events and activities. The group is already 20% toward its goal after a lively auction at conneXtion’s closing event. Members bid on two bottles of Horse Soldier Bourbon Whiskey —the same precious bottles made with metal salvaged from the wreckage of the Twin Towers that has been auctioned and “rewon” by members at the last two conventions.

Ed Israel of Carpet One Floor & Home in Asheville, NC and his Regional Network Group composed of Carpet One members in both South Carolina and North Carolina won the first bottle, while Dave Lucas of Carpet One Floor & Home in Tucson, AZ claimed the second bottle.

Additionally, as part of the spotlight on Tunnel to Towers, Smart Home recipient and combat-wounded Staff Sergeant (Ret.) Johnny “Joey” Jones addressed members with a first-person account of what the program has meant to him and his fellow veterans. Jones, author of Unbroken Bonds of Battle: A Modern Warriors Book of Heroism, Patriotism, and Friendship (HarperCollins) is a contributor across all FOX News Media platforms, including FNC, FOX Business Network (FBN), and FOX Nation. He’s turned a traumatic, life-changing disability into a personal mission to improve the lives of all veterans and shares the life-changing perspective and gratitude he found in his recovery. The Dalton, GA-native received a mortgage-free Smart Home from Tunnel to Towers following his return from combat.

To date, CCA’s charitable efforts have helped to build more than 70 mortgage-free Smart Homes for returning heroes like Jones and raised almost $2 million for the foundation overall.

“Tunnel to Towers is a cause that is so meaningful to the team at CCA and our membership. Together, we’ve been able to be a part of building technology-enabled homes that allow veterans to regain independence when they return home and help unhoused veterans to show our gratitude for their service,” said Theresa Fisher, Senior Vice President of Visual Merchandising and Brand Development. “This year, we want to keep working together to raise more money for them than the year before, and we are on track to build a record number of homes. We currently have 14 already underway.”

Fisher’s presentation at conneXtion™ recognized Carpet One Floor & Home members who have been a part of a life-changing Smart Home build, including:

• Beth and Jim Nesbitt, Hanover Carpet One Floor & Home in Tampa, FL
• Wayne Sutherland, Carpet Gallery Carpet One Floor & Home in Williamsburg, VA
• Vincent Vidovec and Joe D’Antuano, Franklin Floors Carpet One Floor & Home in Nutley, NJ
• Richard Dobson and Kevin Blocher, First Floors Carpet One Floor & Home in Dallas, TX
• Bonnie Fenwick, Carpet One Floor & Home in Jacksonville, FL
• Regional Network Group comprised of members from North Carolina and Virginia

CCA’s Carpet One Floor & Home has been working with the Smart Home Program since 2013 to help build technology-enabled homes that give veterans a space to regain their independence once they return home. Other divisions of CCA including Flooring America, The Floor Trader, and International Design Guild have been working with the Gold Star Family Home Program since 2018 to honor the legacy of those who made the ultimate sacrifice by providing mortgage-free homes to surviving spouses with young children.

Also, members across divisions participate in the Tunnel to Towers 5K Run & Walk in New York City every September. The event symbolizes New York firefighter Stephen Siller’s final footsteps from the foot of the Battery Tunnel to the Twin Towers and pays homage to the 343 FDNY firefighters, including Siller, law enforcement officers, and thousands of civilians who lost their lives on September 11. In 2023, over $180,000 was raised from the 5K.

Israel and his team are among the co-op’s most active members with Tunnel to Towers as sponsors (and participants) of the 5K. His store also donates a portion of sales from Veterans Day week to the cause.

“It’s important to me to be able to help those who have sacrificed for our freedom and for those still active today. As a veteran of the USAF, I’ve been extremely fortunate since leaving active duty and want to be of service to those less fortunate than me,” said Israel. “There are only a few worthy charities where most funds raised go to those in need rather than administrative costs. [Tunnel to Towers] is one of them. You can see the direct results of those who have benefitted from their generosity.”