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MDA Boot Drive: Firefighters to take to the streets

By Staff | Mar 27, 2015

Firefighters will be standing at many intersections with a boot in hand this weekend for the annual Fill the Boot Campaign, which collects money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Muscular Dystrophy Association Executive Director Erin Randall said this year represents more than six decades since the Cape Coral Professional Fire Fighters Local Chapter 2424 has partnered with the MDA Fill the Boot Campaign.

“It was 61 years ago a family walked into a fire house and asked for help,” she said.

Ever since that day it has been a tradition for the International Association of Fire Fighters to work with MDA.

In 1955, the International Association of Firefighters raised $100,000 for MDA and in 1970 raised $1 million. Last year $25.8 million was raised from the effort of more than 100,000 firefighters.

Since the campaign began, the International Association of Firefighters has raised $555 million for MDA.

On Friday, March 27, Saturday, March 28, and Sunday, March 29, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., firefighters will be at nine intersections throughout Cape Coral . Randall said at any given time up to six firefighters will be standing at an intersection collecting funds for MDA.

Those intersections include Veterans Memorial Parkway and Santa Barbara Boulevard; Cape Coral Parkway and Del Prado Boulevard; Gleason Parkway and Skyline Boulevard; Del Prado Boulevard and Pine Island Road; Del Prado Boulevard and Hancock Bridge Parkway; Del Prado Boulevard and Veterans Parkway; Chiquita Boulevard and Cape Coral Parkway; Pine Island Road and Nicholas Parkway and Del Prado Boulevard and Kismet Parkway.

Last year the Fill the Boot Campaign raised more than $27,000 in Cape Coral, which remained local to help families. The local MDA office services more than 550 families in Southwest Florida.

“There are many families that are in Cape Coral that directly benefit from the money raised,” Randall said.

Many of the families that have benefited from the campaign will be out this weekend as well to thank the firefighters.

Randall said the local office funds a clinic in Sarasota where families can go for no out of pocket expense. The money raised also funds summer camps, flu shots, as well as durable medical equipment repairs. The money is also used for research.

There are 43 different types of muscular diseases that can leave an individual immobile. Randall said it can also be a silent disease that affects muscles on the inside.

“There is no rhyme or reason, it can affect anybody,” she said.