Giving the boot to muscular dystrophy
It's been a few years since Hubbard Fire District participated in the nationwide "Fill the Boot" campaign, a fundraiser to help fight muscular dystrophy.
The local firefighters made up for lost time in a jiffy on Saturday, Sept. 21.
Fill-the-Boot participants gathered at the corner of Highway 99E and D Street between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m., and by the they called it a day, $10,109.30 was raised for the cause. Twenty-three participants took part, all of whom were HFD firefighters, save three accompanying family members.
"We haven't done it for a few years," HFD Assistant Chief/Training Officer Michael Kahrmann said. "I think the last one we did was about four years ago, and we raised somewhere around $7,300 then.
"We'll probably be doing it each year, sometime in September, from now on," he added.
Kahrmann said there is a family in Hubbard with a member who battles with muscular dystrophy, so the national quest has a local motivational element.
"Every coin and every dollar placed in a fire fighter's boot for MDA helps families living with muscular dystrophy and related diseases today," Kahrmann noted.
The local department is happy to be part of the larger cause, which has been a firefighter tradition for over a half century.
"For more than 60 years, our members have been working hard for Muscular Dystrophy Association, filling the boot on behalf of this great charity," said International Association of Fire Fighters General President Harold A. Schaitberger. "They know that what they do truly makes a difference in the lives of so many. Until there is a cure, we plan to continue the partnership."
Last year roughly 1,500 local departments and more than 100,000 firefighters participated nationwide, raising $20 million for MDA.
Kahrmann itemized how donations help the cause, including funding groundbreaking research across diseases to accelerate treatments and cures.
"Currently, MDA is funding more than 150 research projects around the world, thanks in part to Fill the Boot donations," he said. "Contributions help the MDA care for kids and adults from day one at multidisciplinary MDA care centers across the country where experts provide early diagnosis, the highest quality care, and access to clinical trials."
Kahrmann stressed that Fill the Boot donors help to empower families with services and support in hometowns across America by funding trained information specialists who are available to offer one-on-one help, free summer camps for kids where they enjoy "the best week of the year," support groups, equipment assistance, advocacy and public policy efforts.
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