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Home News-Telegram News Firemen’s boots filled to overflowing for MDA

Firemen’s boots filled to overflowing for MDA

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The Sulphur Springs-Hopkins County community continues to be known for its generosity toward others in times of need, especially those facing medical difficulties or recovering from disasters.

This past weekend brought another reminder when Sulphur Springs firefighters collected $ 11,690.74 in their boots from motorists and other residents for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. The figure was included among the tally reported during the annual Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon benefitting MDA.

In fact, firefighters’ across the nation participating in the Labor Day Fill the Boot fund drive are, collectively, the largest national sponsor of MDA. Sulphur Springs Fire Department has participated in Fill the Boot for at least 19 years.

This year’s total doesn’t include money raised in a July fundraiser. SSFD got a jump start on their Fill the Boot campaign by hosting a Burgers and Boots fundraisers July 3-4, offering hamburgers for donations. The two-day lunch-time drive raked in $800. Not a bad start. The firemen then manned their usual stations Thursday-Saturday, Sept. 3-5, holding out boots to collect donations from passing motorists.

This year’s “boot” total comes in just above the 2008 and 2006 tallies of $11,000. 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 was set in 2005. The total this year comes to $12,490.74.

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 money. The canister drive that year netted $5,000. Since then, Fill the Boot has become a nationwide effort, raising more than $300 million for MDA. In 2008, firefighters from East Texas raised more than $94,000 for patients with neuromuscular diseases, according to Candace Pate, fundraising coordinator for this area.

The funds raised for MDA help to “continue in the causes and cures for 43 neuromuscular diseases which affect 400 families in East Texas,” Pate noted. Funds help MDA to support and offer support groups, the clinic at the University of Texas Health and Science Center, diagnostic testing, wheelchairs and leg braces, summer camp for kids age 6-17, as well as with ongoing worldwide research. MDA is not funded by grants and does not seek payment from the patients served.




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