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Home News-Telegram News Firemen prep for annual Fill the Boot campaign

Firemen prep for annual Fill the Boot campaign

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School has already begun at Hopkins County schools, and the start also signals the fast approach of Labor Day, which local residents know heralds the annual Fill the Boot campaign to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Held Labor Day weekend each year, Sulphur Springs Fire Department conducts its fundraising efforts for the Muscular Dystrophy Association the Thursday, Friday and Saturday of Labor Day weekend. The overall tally is then called in to the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon, which will be broadcast Sept. 7 on Tyler’s KETK 56 NBC, generally located on channel 4 for local cable subscribers.

This year, SSFD got a jump start on their Fill the Boot campaign, hosting a Burgers and Boots fundraisers July 3-4, offering burgers for donations. The two-day lunch-time drive raked in $800.

The firemen will be manning their usual stations Thursday-Saturday, Sept. 3-5, holding out boots to collect donations from passing motorists.

"We appreciate everyone's support and cooperation with this effort. It all goes to such a good cause," said SSFD Capt. Charles Vaughn, who coordinates the local event. "We want to collect as much as we can. Whatever people can give, we'll appreciate it. Every penny counts."

The firefighters apologize in advance for the inconvenience and ask for motorists’ patience while they weave traffic to earn money for MDA and the kids it serves. They encourage everyone to dig into their consoles and ashtrays, as well as couch cushions and coin jars to give to the drive every penny they can spare for MDA.

Motorists should be alert Sept. 3-5 when traveling around downtown as well as through the red light at the Gilmer Street-Bill Bradford Road intersection beside SSFD Station 2. When able, city firefighters stand with boots in hand at intersections collecting whatever funds people are able to toss into their boots. They generally stage from 8 a.m. to about 5 p.m. Thursday-Friday, and through at least lunch on Saturday at the following intersections on the square too: Oak Avenue and College Street, Church Street at Jefferson Street, and have even stattioned at Jefferson Street at Oak Avenue on occasion.

Of course, they’ll only be able to man their corners between calls, so if you miss them the first trip through, just drive back through later. Or, you can always make a donation at either city fire station. SSFD will be accepting "anything and everything" in the manner of monetary donations which community members and motorists wish to toss into the firemen's boots as they pass them.

SSFD gives a special thanks in advance for the community’s continued support of the MDA Fill The Boot drive as well as to the local bank that keeps up with the daily tally and to the city manager who has continued to grant a written permit every year enabling the firemen to collect donations.

Overall, SSFD collected $11,000 in 2008, which mirrors the 2006 contribution. Just over $12,925 was collected in firefighters’ boots in 2007, marking the second largest amount the department has ever raised. The record of $13,081.50 collected was set in 2005. This year will mark at least 19 years SSFD has hosted Fill the Boot for MDA.

Founded in 1950, the Muscular Dystrophy Association is a voluntary health agency working to defeat neuromuscular diseases worldwide.




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