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Firefighters kick off Fill the Boot

Firefighters in Suffolk kicked off their annual Fill the Boot campaign on Friday and will continue the campaign on Fridays and Saturdays through May 18.

The Suffolk Department of Fire & Rescue, along with Local 2801 Professional Firefighters, is holding the annual campaign for the Muscular Dystrophy Association to help children and adults with muscular dystrophy, ALS and related muscle-debilitating diseases live longer and grow stronger, according to a city press release.

Suffolk is the first jurisdiction in Virginia to begin its fundraising efforts in May. Over the last 20 years, citizens have put more than $702,735 in the boot for MDA.

This year’s Fill the Boot effort follows on the heels of the successful March for MDA by two Suffolk firefighters, Joe Jarman and Travis Saunders, who walked from Virginia Beach to Richmond in March and raised more than $10,000.

“We are thrilled to be working with Suffolk Fire & Rescue and Local 2801 Professional Firefighters for another year of Fill the Boot to help provide the funds needed to find treatments and cures for muscular dystrophy, ALS and related diseases that severely limit strength and mobility,” said MDA Development Specialist Darcy Warren. “The dedication of these firefighters to MDA’s mission is unwavering, spending countless hours both with Fill the Boot and MDA Summer Camp to care for the kids and adults in Suffolk. We know that their devotion to our families will make this year’s drive a success.”

Funds raised through Suffolk’s Fill the Boot events in 2019 will empower families who inspire everyday Americans to help children and adults with muscular dystrophy and related muscle-debilitating diseases, displaying how we all can truly live unlimited no matter what limits we may face.

Contributions also help fund groundbreaking research and life-enhancing programs such as state-of-the-art support groups and Care Centers, including the MDA Care Center at The Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters in Norfolk. They also help send more than 70 local kids to MDA summer camp at the 4H Camp in Wakefield — all at no cost to their families.

The MDA’s area ambassadors, Logan Morean and Cole Terrill, were both diagnosed at a young age with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, an inherited, rare disorder of progressive weakness, affecting 1 in 3,600 boys typically in the United States. There is no cure for this disease, and it is one of the fatal diseases MDA covers. Life expectancy ranges from the mid-20s to early 30s.

Firefighters will be at locations throughout Suffolk on May 10-11 and May 17-18 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., weather and call volume permitting.

Collection locations are as follows:

  • Walmart, 1200 N. Main St.
  • Chick-Fil-A, 1018 N. Main St.
  • Food Lion, 1010 Portsmouth Blvd.
  • Food Lion, 1575 Holland Road
  • Walmart, 6259 College Drive
  • Kroger, 1017 University Blvd.
  • Chick-Fil-A, 6212 College Drive
  • Food Lion, 2815 Godwin Blvd.
  • Dollar General, 6513 Holland Road
  • Dollar General, 5900 Godwin Blvd.
  • J & L Food Mart, 6500 Whaleyville Blvd.
  • Food Lion, 3215 Bridge Road
  • Bojangles, 2912 Godwin Blvd.
  • 7-Eleven, 1000 Centerbrooke Lane
  • Duck Thru, 6273 Holland Road

Citizens will also have the chance to donate at this year’s Suffolk Parks & Recreation T.G.I.F. Summer Concert Series.

Those who are unable to come to the collection sites or don’t have cash on hand can donate by clicking here.