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Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Venus, Lochte, Upton help 9/11 Charity Day

By Lynn Hoppes

Venus Williams
Venus Williams attends Cantor Fitzgerald & BGC Partners' annual charity day on 9/11.
NEW YORK -- Tiki Barber was home on New York's Upper East Side. Venus Williams was on a plane leaving the city. Ryan Lochte and Victor Cruz were in school.

All remember Sept. 11, 2001, and all are back in New York today to help Cantor Fitzgerald & BGC Partners host the annual charity day, a fundraiser to honor the 658 Cantor Fitzgerald employees killed in the World Trade Center attacks. Today, 100 percent of the global revenues of the financial services will be donated to more than 100 charities.

"That day is still very fresh in our minds," said Barber, who had just returned to New York from an NFL game in Denver. "We had lost that game and I didn't want to talk to anyone. But people were calling me to turn on the television. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. I was home on the Upper East Side, but the city is not as big as you might think."

More than 100 celebrities and athletes -- including New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez, supermodel Kate Upton and actor Michael J. Fox -- spent several hours "working" by trading bonds. All of the special guests have charities that will benefit from the day.

"It's amazing this day is even possible. It's important not to forget," said Williams, who was in town this week for the U.S. Open and Fashion Week. "The years go by so fast. It's hard to believe it was 11 years ago. We still remember everyone from that day."

Cruz, who is coming off a Super Bowl crown with the Giants, said he was here to represent his team and "do something positive on a day remembered for being not-so-positive."

And Lochte, who has been traveling the country for personal appearances, didn't hesistate when asked.

"I jumped on the first plane from Florida to be here. I'm just happy to help," Lochte said. "I'm here to support the cause. Today is all about doing good deeds."