Big Bill's “9/11 Day of Giving” History

An annual tradition that stretches back to days after the tragic events of 9/11/01, the “9/11 Day of Giving” at Big Bill’s NY Pizza is the brainchild of owner Big Bill Ficke . It continues as a positive tribute to those lost so they are never forgotten. Ficke held the first fundraiser in 2001, with the money going to help families of New York firefighters. The event created such positive momentum, Ficke decided to make it an annual event.

The concept for the "9/11 Day of Giving" is that for the entire day on September 11, guests are asked to make a donation in exchange for their food and drinks at Big Bill's NY Pizza. Customers generally donate three to four times what their visit would have normally cost. The entire restaurant staff donates their salary, time and tips for the day. Vendors donate supplies and Ficke covers any extra hard costs.

“The day of giving has become a great tradition and the way it has been embraced is overwhelming. People start looking forward to it as soon as the calendar turns to September,” said Ficke. “I’m so humbled by all the support and it really does take a community. Because of our customers, friends, suppliers and staff, we raised an incredible amount of money. ”

The event has evolved into a major fundraiser for Colorado organizations devoted to fighting cancer. The funds received on the “9/11 Day of Giving” will be distributed through the nonprofit JoAnn B. Ficke Cancer Foundation that Ficke and his son Dan Ficke founded in 2009 in honor of their wife and mother JoAnn, who passed away in 2007.  Since 2009, the JoAnn B. Ficke Cancer Foundation has distributed more than $1,350,000 to organizations dedicated to cancer research and supporting cancer victims and their families in the Denver Metro area.  The bottom line is that 100 percent of all the money raised on Sept. 11 stays in Colorado to help make the lives of cancer patients and their families better and to advance cancer research.

Photos from "9/11 Day of Giving"

Watch video summaries of past "9/11 Days of Giving" at Big Bill's NY Pizza


9904 East Pinewood Avenue • Englewood, CO 80111 • 303-741-0367 • E-mail:

The JoAnn B. Ficke Cancer Foundation is a nonprofit organization as defined in section 501(c)3 of the IRS Code.

©JoAnn B. Ficke Cancer Foundation 2022