Southwest Florida Professional Fire Fighters & Paramedics – Local 1826 Fill the Boot to Support Kids and Adults with Muscle-Debilitating Diseases
Members of the Southwest Florida Professional Fire Fighters & Paramedics Local 1826 are set to kick off the annual Fill the Boot fundraising campaign to help the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) find urgently needed treatments and cures for muscular dystrophy, ALS and related diseases that severely limit strength and mobility to local families here in Southwest Florida.
Lehigh Acres firefighters and paramedics will be at Gunnery Road & Lee Blvd with boots in hand for this year’s drive on March 17, 18 and 19 between 8:00 am and 6:00 pm each day looking to raise nearly $200,000 countywide this weekend. Last year, they had a record-breaking year, raising over $174,000 for local families battling muscle disease and ALS, making them #1 in the state of Florida and #9 in the country. Lehigh Acres Firefighter raised $35,669.34 last year.
“For more than sixty years, firefighters have stood on the front lines with MDA in the fight to free individuals, and the families who love them, from the harm of these life-threatening muscle diseases,” said Executive Director, Erin Randall. “Each year, Local 1826 firefighters dedicate countless hours of their time participating in Fill the Boot drives and at MDA Summer Camp. We’re grateful for their steadfast drive and uncommon caring toward the kids and adults we serve and look forward to working together once again to make this Fill the Boot season a huge success.”
MDA’s spirited Fill the Boot campaign is an honored tradition in which thousands of dedicated firefighters in hometowns across America hit the streets or storefronts asking pedestrians, motorists, customers and other passersby to make a donation to MDA, using their collective strength to help kids and adults live longer and grow stronger.
Funds raised through the 2017 Local 1826 Fill the Boot events empower families with life-enhancing resources and support those open new possibilities and maximize independence so they can experience the world without any limits.
In addition, to Fill the Boot drives, firefighter contributions from year-round local events help support MDA’s efforts to raise awareness and provide professional and public education about neuromuscular diseases.
Contributions also help MDA’s efforts to fund groundbreaking research and life-enhancing programs such as state-of-the-art support groups and Care Centers, including the MDA Care Center at Sarasota Memorial Hospital in Sarasota, FL. They also help send more than 30 local kids to “the best week of the year” at MDA summer camp at no cost to their families at Rotary Camp in Brandon, FL.
MDA and IAFF Partnership
As MDA’s largest national partner, the IAFF fuels MDA’s mission to find research breakthroughs across diseases; care for kids and adults from day one, and provide families with services and support.
IAFF support for MDA began in 1954 when the organization committed by proclamation to support MDA until a cure is found, and the organization’s unwavering commitment to MDA has remained strong to this day. The IAFF raised $100,000 for MDA in 1955, and $1 million in 1970, and firefighters continue to raise the bar in their fundraising efforts. In 2015, more than 100,000 firefighters participated in Fill the Boot events across the country and raised $25.5 million. To date, the IAFF has raised $583 million for MDA.
About the IAFF
The International Association of Fire Fighters represents more than 300,000 professional firefighters and paramedics who protect 85 percent of the nation’s population. More than 3,200 affiliates and their members protect communities in every state in the United States and in Canada.
MDA is leading the fight to free individuals — and the families who love them — from the harm of muscular dystrophy, ALS and related muscle-debilitating diseases that take away physical strength, independence, and life. We use our collective strength to help kids and adults live longer and grow stronger by finding research breakthroughs across diseases; caring for individuals from day one and empowering families with services and support in hometowns across America.
Learn how you can fund cures, find care and champion the cause at mda.org.