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Firefighters kick off ‘Fill the Boot’ fund-raiser today; Proceeds help MDA

By Staff | Mar 27, 2008

Cape Coral firefighters will be filling their boots with donations beginning today for the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s “Fill the Boot” campaign.

The campaign will begin at 3 p.m., and then will continue Friday at 3 p.m. and early Saturday afternoon, with International Association of Fire Fighters Local 2424 members hitting local street intersections for donations, according to district MDA director Marty Moorhead.

In 2007, Cape firefighters raised more than $24,000 during Fill the Boot, and $2.6 million was raised statewide.

Money raised during the drive goes toward the purchase of wheelchairs, leg braces, clinic visits, support groups, flu shots and a summer camping trip for local children suffering from neuromuscular diseases, said Moorhead.

Brendon Fonic, a firefighter at Station 1 in Cape Coral and a member of IAFF 2424, said at least 15 local firefighters will set up shop each day at the intersections of Veterans Parkway at Santa Barbara Boulevard and Cape Coral Parkway at Del Prado Boulevard.

“Hopefully, we have a good turnout,” said Fonic. “Citizens are usually very supportive.”

Fonic said that last year’s MDA boot drive was the first he had participated in.

The IAFF Cape members hope to be able to raise at least $25,000 this year, he said.

IAFF has a long standing relationship with the MDA and it is the organization’s largest national sponsor, said Moorhead. The group has been committed to a partnership with MDA since 1953.

“Over the ensuing decades, the commitment of the professional firefighters to the cause of MDA has further elevated their status as extraordinary professionals who not only put their lives at stake to save citizens from the ruthless flames, but also give their time to save the lives of the innocent from equally merciless neuromuscular diseases,” said Moorhead.

Mayor Eric Feichthaler, who could not be reached Wednesday for comment, is slated to participate at the intersection of Veterans Parkway and Santa Barbara Boulevard until 4 p.m. today, according to his office.