Firefighters to collect donations for MDA

To help out the Muscular Dystrophy Association, Marquette Fire Fighters Local #643 will go beyond the call of duty this weekend when they join in the battle against neuromuscular disease.

The fire fighters will use their boots to collect money from motorists and pedestrians for the MDA Friday, July 26 from 3 – 6 p.m. at the intersections of 3rd and Hewitt Streets and McClellen and Cleveland Streets.

Saturday, July 27, the boot drive will be from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the intersections of Front and Washington Streets, Fair and Pine Streets and 3rd and Hewitt Streets.

All donations will benefit local MDA clients and services like sending children and young adults to MDA Summer Camp in Green Lake, funding clinic visits and financing wheelchair repairs.

MDA’s Fill-the-Boot program is supported by the International Association of Firefighters (IAFF) and non-union fire departments across North America. Last year, Wisconsin fire fighters raised $600,000 for MDA.

The tradition began in 1952, when a father in desperate need ran to IAFF member George Graney’s Fire Engine Company 1 in South Boston. IAFF Local 718 immediately rounded up 20 fire fighters and set in motion a door-to-door canister drive that raised $5,000.

Realizing the potential that fire fighters had to offer the cause and their excellent image in the community, Graney approached and persuaded other IAFF members to support MDA. In August 1954, IAFF named MDA as their “charity of choice” and their signature fundraising activity has been the MDA Fill-the-Boot drive. The IAFF has emerged as the single-largest sponsor of MDA, contributing nearly $300 million since 1954 – all to benefit Jerry’s kids.

MDA is a voluntary health agency working to defeat 43 neuromuscular diseases through programs of worldwide research, comprehensive services and far-reaching professional and public health education. For more information about MDA’s programs and services, call (920) 499-4571.