Sulphur Springs Fire Department asks motorists to please pardon the interruption in traffic around the downtown square and extends their heartfelt thanks in advance for the community’s support of the annual Fill the Boot Drive.
The annual fund drive is a tradition in which city firemen for more than 20 years have taken time in the hot and sometimes inclement conditions the Thursday, Friday and Saturday of Labor Day weekend to stand at the corners around the downtown square to collect whatever monetary donations community members care to contribute for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
From roughly 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Aug. 29-31, SSFD will again dodge traffic around the square — usually at the intersections of Church and Jefferson streets, Oak Avenue and Jefferson Street, and Oak Avenue and College Street — collecting money in their boots for East Texas MDA.
To contribute to Fill the Boot, just look for a fireman standing near the square with boots in hand. Put your window down and toss in your donation.
The firemen will be working on duty, so they will periodically be required to leave their posts to answer emergency calls. But, if you miss them on the square and want to make a donation, drop by SSFD Central Fire Station on Church Street before Sunday.
“We appreciate everyone's support and cooperation with this effort. It all goes to such a good cause," said SSFD Captain Charlie Vaughn, who coordinates the Fill the Boot campaign each year. “Every little bit helps with things like sending kids to camp. All the money stays here in Northeast Texas. We want to collect as much as we can. Whatever people can give, we'll appreciate it. Every penny counts."
Funds raised through the Fill The Boot campaign enable MDA to provide the very best in patient care and services, including clinic visits, support groups, repair to medical equipment, summer camp for children ages 6 to 17, and worldwide research efforts seeking treatments and cures for the 43 neuromuscular diseases covered by the association. MDA's East Texas Chapter serves over 400 families affected by neuromuscular diseases, notes Candace Pate, East Texas MDA Chapter coordinator.
Fill the Boot is a 55-year tradition, started when a father of two sons with muscular dystrophy sought help from his local firefighters in raising funds; the canister drive that year netted $5,000. Since then, Fill the Boot has become a nationwide effort raising over $300 million for MDA.
MDA seeks no fees from those it serves.
Last year, SSFD collected about $12,000 donations in their boots thanks to the generous Sulphur Springs and Hopkins County community.
Vaughn also extends appreciation to Guaranty Bond Bank “for counting our money for us.” SSFD and MDA also express thanks to the city for granting the permit which allows the firemen to solicit donations on city streets each year.
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