Firemen taking to the streets to raise money for MDA

By FAITH HUFFMAN | News-Telegram News Editor

Aug 29, 2007 - Please excuse Sulphur Springs firemen for disrupting the flow of traffic around the downtown square and other busy intersections over the next three days, Captain Charlie Vaughn asks — there's a good reason for it.

Staff Phto by Angela Pitts

City firefighters will be accepting donations for MDA Thursday through Saturday.

From Thursday through Saturday, city firemen will be standing with boots in hands accepting donations for the annual Fill The Boot fund drive to raise funds to benefit East Texas children via the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

2007 marks at least the 17th year Sulphur Springs Fire Department has participated in the Fill The Boot drive. The department collected about $11,000 last year. Ovver the last five years totals between $8,200 and $13,000 were collected from the big-hearted citizens of this community.

"We appreciate everyone's support and cooperation with this effort. It all goes to such a good cause," said 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 through traffic to earn money for MDA and the kids it serves. They encourage everyone to dig into their consoles and ashtrays, couch cushions and coin jars to give to the drive for every penny they can spare for MDA.

Motorists are asked to be alert when traveling through the red lights at the Linda Drive-Gilmer Street-Bill Bradford Road intersection beside SSFD Station 2. Firemen will also be stationed with boots in hand at the corners of Oak Avenue and College Street, Church Street at Jefferson Street, and possibly Jefferson Street at Oak Avenue.

Unless they're out answering calls for service, the firefighters will be out from about 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. 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.

Vaughn, on behalf of SSFD, extended special thanks to Guaranty Bond Bank, where the staff collects and counts the money. Bank employees area also available during a special time over the weekend so that the firefighters can deposit the bountiful booty.

The firemen also extend thanks to Sulphur Springs City Manager Marc Maxwell and city officials, who each year have granted a written permit so the firemen can stand at the street corners collecting funds.

According to information provided by MDA, the funds raised from Fill the Boot are used to help fund research; pay for health care services such as group sessions, physical, occupational or respiratory therapy; and provide wheelchairs, leg braces and communications devices for those with muscular dystrophy or similiar diseases, as well as fund public education programs and summer camp for children assisted by MDA.

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