The Tunnel to Towers Foundation has paid off the mortgage for the family of slain Watauga County (NC) Sheriff's Sergeant Chris Ward.

Ward was performing a welfare check on April 28 with K-9 Deputy Logan Fox when both were shot and killed. Ward was survived by his wife, Candice and two daughters, Molly and Katie.

According to Tunnel to Towers, the donation to the Ward family was one of 50 granted during the charity's largest one-day mortgage payoff. Representatives of the foundation said this was due in part to an outpouring of support it received after the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks.

Tunnel to Towers honors the legacy of New York firefighter Stephen Siller, who died in the attacks on September 11, 2001. The foundation pays off mortgages for and provides mortgage-free homes to families of seriously injured and fallen first responders and for Gold Star military families with young children.