Free Day at the Water Park for Families Impacted by 9/11

POCONO TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- Families who were affected by the September 11 terrorist attacks were given a free pass to an indoor waterpark in the Poconos on Monday.

Kole Tokarski from East Quogue was only 2 when the Twin Towers in New York City fell back on September 11, 2001.

Her father, Paul, was a firefighter in New York and was called to Ground Zero just a few hours after the attack.

"He was there for over a month cleaning and helping and picking up debris and finding bodies, everything," said Tokarski.

Paul retired from the fire department in 2012. He died back in March after he lost his battle with brain cancer.

His illness and death prompted Kole to reach out to the "FDNY Family Assistance Unit." The organization was created after 9/11 to help victims families and those who got sick from the cleanup.

The organization partnered with Camelback Resort near Tannersville for its annual day of giving back, calling it a "Salute to the FDNY."

"A lot of times when we meet our families, it's during hardship and heartache, so this is a really special day for us because they are having fun today," said Evelyn Tesoriero, FDNY Family Assistance Unit.

More than 200 FDNY first responders and their families got to spend the day at the resorts indoor water park, Aquatopia, and arcade for free.

Spending the day at the indoor water park gives these families who were affected by 9/11 a chance to decompress and have a little fun.

"We all remember 9/11, but a lot of families still continue to struggle with the aftermath, and so we feel it's the least we can do to help these families forget about their daily struggles," said Amy Cameron, Camelback Resort.

"These water parks look so much fun and I am so excited," said Tokarski.

Other families say they are grateful for a day where they can forget about the bad memories and make some new ones.