Filling the boot for muscular dystrophy

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 26, 2004

Suffolk firefighters are spending this weekend stamping out the fires of muscular dystrophy.

Today, the city’s professional firefighters will kick off the annual four-day Fill the Boot campaign, a fundraiser for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. The campaign ends Sunday.

Firefighters, with collection boots in hand, will be stationed outside nine stores throughout the city to collect contributions, said firefighter Kim Marston, coordinator of the event for the past three years.


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In Suffolk, firefighters will be collecting at the College Drive and North Main Street Super Wal-Marts; the Food Lion stores on Bridge and Holland roads and Godwin Boulevard; Racetrac on Portsmouth Boulevard, J & L Market on Whaleyville Boulevard; and at the Sentry Marts on Pruden Boulevard and Holland Road.

Also, Franklin firefighters will be collecting at their Wal-Mart.

Marston is hoping the Suffolk group will raise $45,000. Last year, firefighters raised $35,000, exceeding their goal by $5,000.

Even though the goal is significantly higher than what was collected last year, Marston believes it is achievable.

&uot;The citizens of Suffolk and Franklin are always so generous and willing to help us,&uot; she said.

Last year’s Fill the Boot campaign was so successful that Suffolk firefighters won the Bronze Boot, an award presented by the International Association of Firefighters to Hampton Roads fire department that raises the most money per union member for the project.

&uot;We want to keep the Bronze Boot where it belongs,&uot; Marston said. &uot;And that is right here in the city of Suffolk.&uot;

Funds raised over the weekend will be turned over to MDA during the annual Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon on Labor Day.

The MDA uses the money collected during the annual telethon to pay for medical treatments, wheelchairs and braces, communication devices and many other items for MDA patients. The funds also funds research to discover a cure for the disease and it helps send children to MDA summer camps.