Firefighters fill the boot for MDA

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 27, 2002

Across the city this past week, firefighters stood by several local businesses, boots in hand. They were collecting whatever change and cash people could spare for those afflicted with Muscular Dystrophy.

Capt. James &uot;Jim&uot; Judkins of the fire department said firefighters in Suffolk and Franklin worked together on the &uot;Fill the Boot&uot; campaign. The Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) is assisted each year by the fund raising efforts of firefighters across the nation.

In Suffolk, firefighters were holding out their boots for cash at Wal-Mart, the four local Food Lions, the Sentry Mart on Holland Road, and the J&L Mart in Whaleyville. In Franklin, firefighters from that city were also stationed at Wal-Mart.

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&uot;They all did a great job and we’re very pleased with the help the public offered to us with the campaign,&uot; said Judkins. &uot;It’s really nice to know that everyone wanted to pitch in to help us help MDA. That organization helps so many people with MD and their families.&uot;

Judkins said the firefighters of Suffolk and Franklin collected a little more than $24,000 for MD.

As the captain pointed out, MD uses these funds and those that will be pledged during the annual &uot;Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon&uot; on Sept. 1, to help pay for medical treatments, wheelchairs and braces, communication devices and many other items for MD patients. The funds also pay for research to discover a cure for the disease and it pays for children to attend MDA summer camps.

Last year’s MDA telethon was viewed by 60 million people who donated $56.8 million. The funds from Suffolk and Franklin will be added to this year’s tote board for the 2002 telethon.

The telethon is now in its 37th year and the host, Jerry Lewis, will kick it off this year at 9 p.m. Sunday. It will run for 21-1/2 hours.