Updated, Thursday, Sept. 13, 10 a.m. ET
September 11th is a somber day in America and especially in the New York area. And today many remembered co-workers, friends and loved ones lost on the 11th anniversary of the World Trade Center terrorist attacks.
Yet out of the rubble and the darkness of this day each year comes hope and help for those in need, especially at the annual Cantor Fitzgerald and BGC Partners Charity Day.
The fundraiser is held in commemoration of the 658 Cantor Fitzgerald employees who died in the attacks on 9/11. Cantor Fitzgerald and BGC donate 100 percent of the day's global revenues to more than 100 charities worldwide. And to help them do that, pro athletes, actors, supermodels, TV personalities, musicians and other distinguished guests joined licensed brokers to conduct transactions for the two firms.
Jets luminaries were among the celebrities on hand in BGC's offices at 199 Water Street to help in the fundraising. Owner Woody Johnson, head coach Rex Ryan and quarterback Mark Sanchez joined Mike Tannenbaum, who has been known to execute trades of his own as the Jets general manager, helped close several different kinds of deals to help benefit the Alliance for Lupus Research among all the charities participating in this event.
"It was my freshman year in high school," Sanchez recalled about where he was when he heard about the attacks. "And it seemed so far away for a tragedy like that. And then to meet people that have been affected by that, whether it was their parents, uncles, brothers or sisters who were lost, that really hits home. And it takes me right back to that spot where I was with my dad that day, asking him questions, "What's going on?"
"I'm here to help New Yorkers. It means the world to us and I'm honored to be here."
"Mark said it as eloquently as I've heard it," said Johnson, who among his many roles is the founder of the ALR, devoted exclusively to finding new methods to prevent, treat and cure lupus and a board member of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. "This is a day of remembrance. I've talked to a lot of the families over the years. And it was an amazing coming together, of the people of New York City but also people all over the world. It really brought us together and showed the power of the American people.
"I want to thank BGC for doing what they're doing, remembering 9/11 in this way," Johnson said, "and for having this special day, which hopefully will help the 1.5 million Americans who have lupus, and 90 percent of them are women. I know from personal experience. My daughter has lupus and it's a very, very tough disease."
Through this year's event, Charity Day has raised about $89 million globally.