Tunnel to Towers: What the $2 Million from Our Betsy Ross T-Shirts Is Doing

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RUSH: here was an amazing segment on Fox today. Frank Siller, who is responsible for and is the daily operations director of the Tunnel to Towers Foundation appeared on Fox.

As you know yesterday I was able to announce, because of the goodness of all of you in this audience, that we were able to increase the charitable donation to Tunnel to Towers that’s being generated by this overwhelming response to the Stand Up for Betsy Ross T-shirt, which is not stopping. We have reached a gross dollar amount that is gonna result in another increase to the charity.

This is not a profit pursuit for us here. There 250 knockoff shirts — or that’s a total of how many there have been. It’s something that everybody’s trying to get in on, 250 different fraudsters attempting to sell, trying to make people think they have the authentic Stand Up for Betsy Ross T-shirt. But they don’t. There’s only one place to get it.

Kathryn is doing the logistics and the supply chain on this. And this has gone so far beyond expectations that we are hustling to make sure that every shirt we get and have printed, the Stand Up for Betsy Ross and the flag, is the exact shirt that everybody else gets. So those have to be manufactured, then the vendor has to actually print the shirt, ship them to us. We have to get the sizes correct in terms of what sizes sell most.

It has been massive. It’s one of the most fun undertakings, but it has become a hundred times larger than anybody ever thought it would, and it continues. So the Tunnel to Towers people appeared on a segment on Fox & Friends today to explain what’s being done with the money that’s been raised from the sale of the shirts. It’s a $27 item here that’s resulted in a charitable donation of $2 million in two weeks. In two weeks! So we start off, here is Steve Doocy, first of a few sound bites here.

DOOCY: Congratulations. Rush Limbaugh, through the generosity of people who have bought that T-shirt, is donating $2 million and counting to Tunnel to Towers.

SILLER: It’s unbelievable. What that has done for our foundation is beyond words. Him and his wife, Kathryn, are taking the goodness of America, letting the people push back ’cause we’re sick and tired of people bashing America and —

DOOCY: In particular Colin Kaepernick, Nike, the Betsy Ross shoe.

SILLER: All of that, all of that. But it’s much more than that. You just saw pictures of police officers getting water thrown upon them, the disrespect that goes around. And these great Americans put their lives on the line for us every single day. So not only is Rush and Kathryn reaching out to the goodness of America, because of this money donated to the Tunnel to Towers Foundation, we’re taking care of the greatness of America, these people who serve our country.

RUSH: And again, just specified, this is not a donation from Kathryn and me. This is the result of millions — well, we’re not yet millions, but hundreds of thousands of people purchasing the Stand Up for Betsy Ross T-shirt, and everybody involved in this is as grateful as I’ve ever seen people grateful ’cause it’s so unexpected, so unforecast. Ainsley Earhardt next said to Frank Siller, “Tell us what you’re doing, how does this all work?”

SILLER: Six great heroes that we could pay off their mortgages immediately.

DOOCY: Unbelievable.

SILLER: Yeah. And the beauty of it, some of them have been waiting for a while. Like we have a police officer, Steve Disario from Kirtland, Ohio, his wife was pregnant with their seventh child when he was killed responding to a crazy man with a gun. And so two weeks after they buried him, the wife had their seventh child.

EARHARDT: Seventh child.

SILLER: Arizona Deputy U.S. Marshal Chase White served this country and also served — has four children left behind serving a warrant, this year died January 16, 2019, Army warrant officer Jonathan Farmer, you know, four people, four Americans were killed that day, one of them was a family friend of ours, we grew up, Shannon Kent, but Tabitha was left behind with her four children, want to pay off that mortgage. Kissimmee police officer Matt Baxter left behind a wife and she is a police officer, too, his wife.

DOOCY: Wow.

SILLER: Three beautiful kids. Arizona firefighter Mitchell Lundgaard, who was responding and saved somebody’s life and the person was revived and ended up killing that firefighter while he saved that person’s life. And Auburn, Alabama, police officer William Buechner survived by his wife and two children. Many of those people coming to the Tunnel to Towers run.

RUSH: Right. What’s being told here is these people’s mortgages are being paid off, which is such a huge deal. And they weren’t through. The conversation continued.

EARHARDT: They’re already going through so much. They’re left behind with children. They’re faced with bills. They have to pay for the funeral. They have to pay for college. They have to pay for their houses. So you are taking that burden away from them. God bless you for doing this.

SILLER: Well, God bless Rush and Kathryn. Keep on buying the Betsy Ross shirts because we’re gonna get…

DOOCY: That’s right.

SILLER: — all those proceeds to help. I want to be here in another week to say we’re gonna take care of six more of these great heroes.

KILMEADE: What is it, Rush Limbaugh…

SILLER: Rush Limbaugh, yes.

DOOCY: RushLimbaughShowStore.com.

EARHARDT: You can go to his website and find it on the website.

RUSH: And there’s just one more here. Finally, it’s Doocy with the opening here of the final bite.

DOOCY: You’ve been here before to announce that you have paid off one person’s mortgage. Have you ever been able to do six at once?

SILLER: Not six at once like this.

DOOCY: This is unbelievable.

SILLER: It is unbelievable because, you know, a lot of these we’ve started fundraising on some of these here, and sometimes it takes us six months, nine months to raise all the months. Now this takes care of six mortgages that we’ve already started fundraising on.

EARHARDT: Who would have thought a little T-shirt would have gone this far.

SILLER: Well, it’s more. It stands for a lot.

EARHARDT: It does.

SILLER: It represents…

EARHARDT: It does.

SILLER: — so much about the goodness of America, that T-shirt, that flag, and the great people that are helping.

EARHARDT: There are good people out there, yeah. (cross-talk)

SILLER: There are a lot of good people.

KILMEADE: Who would have thought the Betsy Ross flag would ever be controversial, the 13 colonies… (cross-talk)

DOOCY: All right. So they’ve raised $2 million for you and counting. If you’d like to help, once, again RushLimbaughShowStore.com. Frank, thank you very much.

SILLER: Thank you, Rush.

EARHARDT: Thank you.

DOOCY: All right. And Kathryn.

SILLER: And Kathryn, for sure.

RUSH: The question, who would have ever thought the Betsy Ross flag would ever be so controversial. That’s it, exactly! What in the heck did Betsy Ross ever do to? She didn’t bust the budget. She just created the first flag with the 13 colonies represented by a circle of stars and the blue quadrant next to the stripes, the red and white stripes.

And here comes Nike creating some Fourth of July tennis shoes with that flag on the back, and Colin Kaepernick (imitating Kaepernick), “I don’t like those, that symbol is racist.” So Nike, oh, Colin doesn’t like them, okay, we’re not gonna put ’em on the shelf. We’re not gonna sell them.

Now, they’re gonna become collector’s items, you know this, however many pairs they made. I still think this was a Nike PR effort that was meant to once again elevate Kaepernick and keep him in the news. I mean, this doesn’t make any sense otherwise. One person can tell a gigantic corporation what they can and can’t sell?

I mean, if Nike was so woke, if Nike was so sensitive to social justice warriorship, why would they create the shoes in the first place? Why wouldn’t they know that Kaepernick and many of their other clients would be objecting to the shoe? They made it anyway, the whole thing. But I’m glad they did, I’m glad they did because they gave us the opportunity to stand up to it. And, again, you all have just blown the doors off here in such a short period of time.

And again, since this little appearance on Fox this morning, thousands and thousands more orders have come in. You know what I’ve been thinking of doing? You know, Bernie Sanders had to cut some of his campaign staff ’cause they’re complaining that he’s not paying them minimum wage. And he cut some of their hours. We need some help with fulfillment.

I’ve been thinking of reaching out to the Bernie Sanders staff that’s been laid off saying, “Hey, would you like to come down to south Florida and help us fulfill some orders for the Stand Up for Betsy Ross shirt? If Bernie’s gonna mistreat you, if Bernie’s gonna disrespect you, if Bernie’s not gonna even pay you what he’s promising to give the American people if he’s elected, how would you like to work on a real American project instead of the Bernie campaign?”

I’d love building a bridge from us from us to the Bernie Sanders campaign and accomplish — we’ve got a massive fulfillment effort here, folks. A full UPS truck today showed up. This guy’s sole delivery today was to our warehouse. It’s a massive, massive project, but the supply chain involved here in making sure that orders get turned around, stuffed, fulfilled, and sent out as quickly as possible. ‘Cause our stone is known for the quick turnaround.

If you buy something at RushLimbaugh.com, you may get it the next day. You may get it in two days. We can’t afford for this to take weeks for people to get the shirt. They want it now. We want ’em out there as quickly as we can get them.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Peoria, Illinois, Eric, as we go back to the phones. Thank you for waiting and it’s great to have you with us. Hi.

CALLER: Good afternoon, Rush. I just wanted to let you and the listeners know that if they think their fundraiser is not legit or anything, Thursday when you had made the announcement about how much you raised, on the local news here on the radio — the same station I listen to you on — I heard it. We had an officer killed, I believe, last month/early last month. His name was Troy Chisum, sheriff with the Polk County Sheriff’s Department. During that news break, they had come on and told us that Tunnel to Towers was paying off his family’s mortgage.

RUSH: Well, that’s great. That’s… You know, our philosophy here at the EIB Network is “go big or go home.”

CALLER: Yeah. I honestly believe that your efforts and everybody’s combined efforts have made this happen because, you know, I mean, it just… It’s in timing with the infusion cash that’s gone to help people.

RUSH: Well, I appreciate the call — and, look, nobody is saying it’s not illegitimate. I hope I haven’t gotten that impression. There haven’t been any critics of this. Well, you know, I take it back. Some people in the radio business are jealous. I saw in a radio trade magazine that said, “Nike’s a $16 billion corporation! You think they’re worried about Limbaugh? This is like a fly on an elephant’s butt,” and so forth. I’ve seen, you know, little incremental things like that, but nobody is saying it’s illegitimate. It’s actually an incredible testament to the people in the audience.

I mean, that’s the thing. You are the ones who are doing this. We’ve got a $27 item. Look, folks, there are a lot of expenses. The shirts have a net cost. There’s shipping. There’s the labor costs. We have a lot of people. We have 40-50 people working in fulfillment. We’ve got warehouse. We’ve got all kinds of expenses here. So essentially, you know, this is not a pursuit of profit. What we’ve always said is that a portion of the proceeds go to charity, and as it grew and grew and grew and expanded well beyond anybody’s expectations, we’ve just thrown whatever’s left to the charity.

We’re up to $2 million and counting now. The gross numbers would blow your mind, in a two-week period. It would literally blow your mind. The number of orders and the gross dollars would blow your mind. I don’t want to get into that because the only number that really matters is the net, which is the charitable donation: $2 million in two weeks on a $27 item. You are the ones making all of this happen. These are people… The recipients are people who have lost their lives in 9/11 or in war — or, as Frank Siller said, first responders — and this charity has a little bit different approach.

They try to help with daily expenses by paying off mortgages.

When you have a head of household, male or female, killed in action, and you’ve got a young family and a new home — perhaps you’ve just started in your home and you’ve got your 30-year, 25-year mortgage — it’s daunting. So what Tunnel to Towers does, among other things, is try to pay off mortgages. Six of them. Six mortgages! They’ve never been able to retire six mortgages in a period of two weeks before, and I played the sound bites primarily so that those of you who are participating would know what you’re doing. You deserve to have every amount of feel-good and pride in this as you can muster.

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